NASA to launch mission to uncharted world in 2022 | Astronomy


Some of the most exciting space missions are ready to go in 2022.

This year, expect the first images and scientific results of the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, witness the launch of a new mission to study an uncharted world and watch a NASA spacecraft deliberately crashes into asteroid moon.

The wealth of space missions launched in 2021 guarantees a year filled with new discoveries across the solar system – and beyond.

Several countries predict that 2022 will be the year they send robotic explorers to the moon, while also planning in advance for humans to return to the lunar surface in the future.

Here’s what to expect from our exploration of space in 2022.

Explore Mars

Mars was a hotspot in 2021, with three missions from separate countries arriving on the Red Planet earlier this year, and interest in the Sun’s fourth planet is only growing.

Prepare for inspiring new flights of NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, which is still well beyond its intended lifespan, and the start of the Perseverance rover’s investigation into the intriguing remains of a former river delta on Mars starting in summer. Samples taken there could reveal whether organic molecules associated with signs of life, or even microfossils, are present on Mars.

Another robotic explorer will also land on the Red Planet. Europe’s first planetary rover is ready for launch.

The ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover, a joint venture between the European Space Agency and Russian space agency Roscosmos, is expected to take off in September. It was originally scheduled to launch in July 2020, but agencies cited concerns about the preparation of coronavirus and spacecraft components.

The larger ExoMars program includes the Trace Gas Orbiter, which launched on Mars in 2016 and returned scientific data. The Trace Gas Orbiter will also relay the information collected by the rover after its landing on Mars.

Once the ExoMars rover launches in September from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, it will spend nine months navigating space before reaching Mars on June 10, 2023. The rover will land at Oxia Planum, an area just north of the equator Martian. Oxia Planum is an area containing clay-rich mineral layers formed in humid conditions 4 billion years ago.

The mission is intended to search for life on Mars and investigate its history of water. The rover has the ability to drill below the surface of Mars to a depth of 6.5 feet (2 meters), where scientists hope to find signs of life.

Through the solar system

Prepare for more breathtaking footage from NASA’s Juno mission, which has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016. During its extended mission, the spacecraft moves to observe some of Jupiter’s 79 moons. It will pass one of its most captivating moons, Europe, up close in September.

Europa puzzles scientists because a global ocean lies beneath its ice shell and could harbor life. Sometimes plumes eject from holes in the ice in space. Juno can observe these plumes in action.

Expect the first images and science from the James Webb Space Telescope in June and July. The telescope is looking for to scan inside the atmospheres of exoplanets and look deeper into the universe than ever.

NASA will launch the Psyche spaceship in August, sending him on a four-year journey to an unexplored potato-shaped world in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The mission will study a metal-rich asteroid that only appears as a blurry blur to terrestrial and space telescopes.

The unusual object could be a metal core left over from a planet or a piece of primordial material that never melted, depending on Nasa. Psyche can help astronomers learn more about how our solar system was formed.

In September, get ready for another premiere NASA deliberately crushes DART spacecraft on asteroid moon to modify the movement of an near-Earth asteroid.

The double asteroid redirect test will target Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos. This will be the first large-scale demonstration of this type of technology by the agency on behalf of planetary defense. While this asteroid and its moon pose no threat to Earth, it is a good way to test asteroid deflection technology.

The collision will be recorded by LICIACube, or Light Italian Cubesat for Imaging of Asteroids, a companion cubic satellite provided by the Italian Space Agency. Three minutes after impact, the CubeSat will fly over Dimorphos to capture images and videos.

Video of the impact will be shown back to Earth, which should be “pretty exciting,” said Elena Adams, DART mission systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Eyes on the moon

In 2022, everyone is looking to send robots to the moon.

The Indian Space Research Organization will send its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on a lunar mission in 2022.

The first Chandrayaan mission was launched in October 2008 as India’s first unmanned lunar spacecraft. The orbiter “played a crucial role in the discovery of water molecules” on the moon, according to Nasa. Although it calmed down in 2009, NASA was able to detect the location of the spacecraft in 2017.

In 2019, ISRO sought to land Chandrayaan-2 near the lunar south pole, but it crashed shortly after teams lost contact with the lander. NASA later discovered the impact site and field of debris created by the accident.

However, the orbiter for this mission has remained safe as it continues to circle the moon, and it will be used as a communications relay for Chandrayaan-3. The mission will include a lunar lander and a rover similar to that of Chandrayaan-2.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is expected to launch SLIM, or the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon mission, in 2022.

The small spacecraft will be used to demonstrate precise moon landing techniques in order to lay the foundations for future moon exploration missions, according to the agency. It will also return a lunar sample to Earth.

Russia is also continuing its Moon-25 mission in 2022, which is expected to be the first Russian lunar mission since 1976. It will land near the lunar south pole in the Boguslavsky crater, carrying scientific instruments and cameras to study its surroundings.

Preparation for manned space flight

In 2022, China will finalize its space station, and NASA and Roscosmos crews will continue to come and go from the International Space Station. The European Space Agency will also announce its new class of astronauts in November.

India is preparing to launch the country’s first astronauts into space in 2023, so this year the Indian Space Research Organization will launch the first two unmanned Gaganyan missions to test the vehicle’s capabilities.

Meanwhile, 2022 is expected to be a stress test for NASA’s Artemis program, which land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon in 2025.

In January, the stacked spacecraft and rocket will undergo the final test, called a wet dress rehearsal, which includes performing all of the operations to load the thruster into the fuel tanks and a launch countdown timer – basically everything. what is needed for a launch without actually launching.

The launch of Artemis I, an unmanned mission and the first step in the ambitious program, will likely take off in March or April.

During the flight, the Orion spacecraft will be launched atop the SLS rocket to reach the moon and travel thousands of miles beyond it – a father that any spacecraft intended to transport humans has. never traveled. This mission is expected to last a few weeks and will end with Orion landing in the Pacific Ocean.


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