In 2023, new space missions will be launched to the moon, Jupiter and a metal world

In 2023, new space missions will be launched to the moon, Jupiter and a metal world

In 2023, new space missions will be launched to the moon, Jupiter and a metal world

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This year promises to be out of this world when it comes to space missions, launches and the next steps in cosmic exploration.

In 2023, NASA will embark on a trek to a metal world, a spacecraft will deposit unprecedented asteroid samples on Earth, a historic lunar mission will get its crew, and several new commercial rockets may make their launch debut.

There is so much to look forward toaccording to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

“More amazing discoveries from Webb telescope, climate missions that will tell us more about how our earth is changing, the continuation of science on the International Space Station, pioneering aviation developments with the X-59 and X-57 experimental aircraft, the selection of the first astronauts to go to the moon in more than 50 years, and more,” Nelson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the European Space Agency will launch a mission to Jupiter and its moons, send a satellite to create a 3D map of the universe and begin training its newest astronaut class, including an astronaut with a physical disability.

INTERACTIVE: The best space photos of 2022

Here are some of the space headlines to expect this year.

Last year, the inaugural mission of NASA’s Artemis program launched with a successful test flight that sent an unmanned spacecraft on a historic journey around the moon. And while the program’s first crewed flight, the Artemis II mission, isn’t expected to launch until spring 2024, the public could soon learn the names of the lucky astronauts who will be aboard.

The space agency has already reduced its astronaut corps to a field of 18 hopeful eligible for Artemis crew assignments. And last month, NASA officials said they would announce the Artemis II crew in early 2023 — so the news could come any time now.

The Artemis II mission is expected to send four humans on a journey around the moon and back to Earth.

The next mission after that, Artemis III, will land astronauts on the lunar surface for the first time since the 20th century Apollo program.

While there may not be any manned Artemis flights to look forward to this year, NASA does have plans to put robotic landers on the moon as part of its effort to further study the lunar terrain and radiation environment and search for sources that could potentially are used. extracted from the moon and used to enable exploration deeper into space.

That program is called the Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, and it relies on partnerships with more than a dozen companies that are privately developing their own lunar landers.

The first lander to fly under the program could be one built by Pennsylvania-based Astrobotic, which will use its Peregrine lunar lander to 11 scientific and reconnaissance instruments to the lunar surface in the first few months of 2023. It will land on Lacus Mortis, a larger crater on the near side of the moon.

As many as three other CLPS program missions could also launch by 2023 NASA website.

The highly anticipated Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission, known as JUICEwill be launched between 5 and 25 April.

Taking off from the European Spaceport in French Guiana, the European Space Agency’s mission will spend three years exploring Jupiter and three of its icy moons – Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

In 2023, new space missions will be launched to the moon, Jupiter and a metal world

All three moons are believed to have oceans beneath their ice-covered crust, and scientists want to investigate whether Ganymede’s ocean is potentially habitable.

Once it reaches Jupiter in July 2031, the spacecraft and its array of 10 instruments will perform 35 flybys of the gas giant and its moons. Some of the goals of the mission include investigating whether life ever existed in the Jupiter system, how the gas giant formed its moons, and how Jupiter itself formed.

Boeing has been working for a decade to develop a spacecraft that can transport astronauts to and from the ISS, and is expected to ship by 2023 be the year that this new space taxi is finally operational.

After years of delays and developmental delays, the spacecraft, dubbed Starliner, completed a uncrewed test mission to the ISS last May that was considered a success. And NASA officials have their sights set on April 2023 for the first manned launch.

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft launched on May 19, 2022 for an unmanned test flight.

The Starliner is expected to finalize NASA’s plans to hand over the task of transporting astronauts to the ISS to the private sector. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule is already taking on that task, and the company aims to launch its seventh routine astronaut mission next month. When Starliner becomes operational, SpaceX and Boeing are expected to split missions, hoping to keep as many personnel on the ISS as possible before NASA retires the aging space station in the next decade.

Building on one of the most notable trends in spaceflight of the 2020s, some new commercial rocket companies are expected to introduce brand new launch vehicles that are wholly owned and operated by the private sector.

SpaceX is expected to attempt the first orbital launch of its giant Starship spacecraft. The company wants to use the vehicle to put the first humans on Mars one day, and NASA also hopes to rely on the vehicle for its Artemis program.

SpaceX's first orbital Starship SN20 is seen near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on Feb. 10, 2022.

Two other powerful commercial rockets are also in the works: the Vulcan Centaur, developed by United Launch Alliance, and New Glenn, a product of billionaire Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin. The Vulcan rocket is expected to lift off at this time early 2023, while New Glenn could make its flight debut some time after. (Note, however, that new missiles are notorious for lack of schedules.)

Several new smaller rockets designed specifically to launch lightweight satellites into Earth’s orbit could also enter the scene. Two US-based startups – Relativity and ABL Space Systems – could start the year with their first launches expected in Florida and Alaska, respectively.

A collection of rocks and soil from the nearby asteroid Bennu will finally reach their destination this year when NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft deposits them on Earth.

The spacecraft, NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission, then made history successfully collected a sample from Bennu in October 2020.

OSIRIS REx will swing past Earth on September 24 and drop the sample, containing 2.1 ounces of material from Bennu’s surface, onto the Utah Test and Training Range. If the spacecraft is still in good health, it will embark on another expedition to study other asteroids.

The samples will reveal information about the formation and history of our solar system, as well as asteroids that may be on an eventual collision course with Earth.

After unexpected delaysNASA’s first spacecraft designed to study a metallic asteroid will launch in October.

The Psyche mission embarks on a four-year journey to an unexplored, potato-shaped world in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The mission will study a metal-rich asteroid, also called Psyche, which only appears as a faint blur to ground-based and space-based telescopes.

This illustration shows the Psyche spacecraft flying past its eponymous asteroid.

The unusual object could be a leftover metal core from a planet or a piece of primordial material that never melted, according to NASA. Psyche could help astronomers learn more about the formation of our solar system. If Psyche really is a core, studying it would be like peering into the heart of a planet like Earth.

The mission missed its original 2022 launch window due to software and equipment testing delays. The mission team has expanded their staff to complete pre-launch testing.

Several other missions are expected to launch in 2023. NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution mission, or TEMPOwill measure pollution over North America every hour.

The agency will collaborate with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the European Space Agency XRISM missionor the X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission, to investigate cosmic X-ray objects.

The European Space Agency and NASA will also collaborate on the Euclid’s mission to explore dark energy, a mysterious and invisible form of energy that drives the accelerated expansion of the universe.

The astrophysical stratospheric telescope for high spectral resolution observations at submillimetre wavelengths, or ASTHROS missionwill launch a balloon larger than a football field from Antarctica to study what causes star formation to stop in some galaxies.

And NASA’s little satellite called the Lunar pioneer will use innovative instruments to collect data on the amount of water on the moon.

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