NASA will launch a mission to an unexplored world in 2022. Some of the most exciting space missions are set to begin in 2022. This year, await the first images and scientific results from the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, watch the launch of a new mission to study an unexplored world, and observe a spacecraft from NASA. deliberately colliding with the moon of an asteroid.
The sheer number of space missions launched in 2021 guarantees a year filled with new finds from across the solar system and beyond.
Several countries plan for 2022 to be the year they send robotic explorers to the moon while planning ahead for the return of humans to the lunar surface in the future. Here’s what we can expect from our exploration of space in 2022.
NASA will launch a mission to an unexplored world in 2022.
Mars was a hotspot in 2021, with three separate country missions arriving on the Red Planet earlier this year, and interest in the fourth planet from the Sun is only growing.
Get ready to inspire new flights by NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, which is still well beyond its intended lifespan, and the start of the Perseverance rover’s investigation of the intriguing remains of an ancient river delta on Mars since the summer. Samples taken there could reveal whether there are organic molecules associated with signs of life, or even microfossils, 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 the Russian space agency Roscosmos, is expected to take off in September. It was originally scheduled for launch in July 2020, but agencies have raised concerns about the readiness of the coronavirus and spacecraft components.
ExoMars’ largest program includes Trace Gas Orbiter, which launched on Mars in 2016 and yielded science data. The Trace Gas Orbiter will also transmit 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 in Oxia Planum, an area north of the city. ‘Martian Ecuador. Oxia Planum is an area containing clay-rich mineral layers formed in humid conditions 4 billion years ago.
The mission aims 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 2 meters (6.5 feet), where scientists hope to find signs of life.
Across the solar system
Get ready for more impressive images 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, Europa, up close in September.
Europa baffles scientists because a global ocean lies beneath its ice sheet and could support life. Sometimes feathers pop out of holes in the ice in space. Juno can observe these feathers in action.
Expect the first images and science from the James Webb Space Telescope in June and July. The telescope seeks to look inside the atmospheres of exoplanets and look deeper into the universe than ever before.
NASA will launch the Psyche spacecraft in August, sending it 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 fuzzy spot on the ground and in space telescopes.
The unusual object could be a remnant of a planet’s metal core or a piece of the primordial material that never melted, according to NASA. Psyche can help astronomers learn more about how our solar system formed.
This September, get ready for another first when NASA deliberately smashes the DART spacecraft on an asteroid moon to alter the motion of a near-Earth asteroid.
The double asteroid redirection test will target Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos. This will be the agency’s first large-scale demonstration of this type of technology 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 complementary cubic satellite provided by the Italian Space Agency. Three minutes after impact, the CubeSat will fly over Dimorphos to capture images and video.
Video of the impact will be shown back to Earth, which should be “quite exciting,” said Elena Adams, a 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 attempted to land Chandrayaan-2 near the lunar south pole, but it crashed shortly after crews lost contact with the lander. Later, NASA discovered the impact site and the debris field created by the accident.
However, the orbiter for this mission has been kept safe as it continues to circle the moon and 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 to lay the foundation for future lunar exploration missions, according to the agency. It will also return a lunar sample to Earth.
Russia is also continuing its Luna-25 mission in 2022, which is scheduled to be the first Russian lunar mission since 1976. It will land near the lunar south pole in Boguslavsky crater, carrying scientific instruments and cameras to study its surroundings.
Preparing for human spaceflight
In 2022, China will put the finishing touches on its space station, and crews from NASA and Roscosmos will continue to move in and out of 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. This year, the Indian Space Research Organization will launch the first two unmanned Gaganyaan missions to test the vehicle’s capabilities.
Meanwhile, 2022 is expected to be a stress test for NASA’s Artemis program, which will 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 general test, which includes performing all the operations to load the propellant into the fuel tanks and a launch countdown timer – basically everything. it 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 launch onto the SLS rocket to reach the moon and travel thousands of miles beyond, a father that no spacecraft intended to transport humans has ever traveled. This mission is expected to last a few weeks and end with Orion’s landing in the Pacific Ocean.