Calendar of space missions for the year 2022

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SPACE – The launch of the James Webb Telescope ended a busy year in terms of space events. The ultimate mission of Thomas Pesquet within theISS, the surge of tourist space flights or the collection of the first sample never extracted on Mars, all these episodes punctuated the space news of 2021.

And the year 2022 promises to be just as interesting, especially with the launch of the European Euclid space telescope. Although dates are subject to last minute changes, The HuffPost takes a look at the major events to plan for next year.

January 2022 – First orbital flight for SpaceX’s Starship mega-rocket

“The first orbital flight, we hope to do it in January,” Elon Musk said in November, before adding later that the test could also take place “maybe in February”. The spacecraft has already made several suborbital flights: after several tests that ended inimpressive explosions, SpaceX had finally managed to land it, designed to be reusable.

Starship was notably selected by NASA to become the lander used as part of its Artemis program. Elon Musk also estimated that Starship would be operational to carry loads outside of testing “in 2023”.

January 31 – Launch of the first lunar lander Nova-C (mission IM-1)

The objective of the Intuitive Machines 1 (IM-1) mission is to install a moon landing vessel, the Nova-C, in the region of Vallis Schroteri on the Moon. It will be launched into space on board by a Falcon 9 rocket as part of the program Artemis.

Nova-C will carry five NASA payloads and one commercial cargo. Among the cargo will be in particular the Polar Resources Ice-Mining Experiment-1 (Prime-1). This lunar drill will perform the first ever demonstration of finding and extracting resources on the moon.

February 21, 2022 – Mission Ax-1, the first completely private mission in the history of the ISS

This will be the first of many SpaceX Crew Dragon flights thatAxiom bought from SpaceX heading to the ISS. The four people who will be on the trip are Axiom Vice President (and former astronaut) Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe.

The crew’s activities will focus on science, education and awareness, with approximately 25 experiments conducted aboard theISS. Critical data from studies of human research, physical and life sciences, technology demonstrations and Earth observation will expand the applicability of microgravity research to new areas.

April 15 – Crew-4 joins the ISS

This will be the fourth flight fourth rotation flight of the crew of the spacecraft Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. Three NASA astronauts and one ESA astronaut have been assigned to the 6-month mission. On the European side, it will be the Italian Samantha Cristoforetti, which represents the European Space Agency.

June – Take off of JUICE, the great mission of Europe

JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) est an ESA mission and supported by NASA to study 3 frozen moons of Jupiter: Ganymede, Europe and Callisto. This is the first category L mission (large mission) selected as part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program.

Those frozen moons could harbor oceans beneath their frozen surface, an essential component for the emergence of life. The probe will be launched from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou (French Guyana) by an Ariane 5, and will reach Jupiter in 2029. She is expected to spend at least three years making detailed observations and will focus on finding traces of life.

August 1 – The Psyche space probe will visit a iron asteroid

This is the fourteenth space mission in NASA’s Discovery program. The aim is to study theasteroid Psyche, one of the ten most massive bodies in the main belt, but also one of the strangest. Its composition is essentially metallic and would potentially be the rest of the core of an old planet.

The space probe should better identify the characteristics of this asteroid, and unveil new data on the process of formation of the planets’ nuclei. The spacecraft will reach its target in 2026. The scientific mission looks promising.

20 septembre – Mission ExoMars 2022

The other two robots currently exploring the red planet, Curiosity and Insight, will soon be joined by a new colleague. The Russian-European mission ExoMars will send a rover that will be able to drill Martian soil up to two meters deep.

He will be the first “to combine the ability to move on the surface and study Mars at depth” says ESA. Its mission is to take soil samples and analyze them using latest generation instruments. The Rover should land on Mars scheduled for June 2023.

End of 2022 – The launch window for the Euclid space telescope opens

How did the Universe come into being? Why is it expanding at an accelerated rate instead of slowing down? These are the questions to which Euclid, le télescope spatial designed by ESA, will have to respond. To achieve this, the ship will have to study the dark universe, i.e. the nature of black matter and dark energy.

Euclid, made up of a telescope 1.2 m in diameter and two scientific instruments, will image billions of galaxies with unparalleled precision, at a distance of ten billion light years. It will be launched on a Soyuz rocket from the European spaceport at Kourou, in French Guiana. The spacecraft will then join the orbit of James Webb, at the Lagrange L2 point located 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

End of 2022 – Ax-2, Axiom’s second mission takes off

Axiom’s second mission, Ax-2, is expected in the third quarter of 2022, in the fall. The mission commander will be former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. Although she is retired, she is particularly experienced and has a total of 665 days in space and 10 spacewalks.

See also on The HuffPost: Why do we make a wish when we see a shooting star?

NASAArtist’s concept of our solar system. SPACE – The launch of the James Webb Telescope ended a busy year in terms of space events. The ultimate mission of Thomas Pesquet within theISS, the surge of tourist space flights or the collection of the first sample never extracted on Mars, all these episodes punctuated the space…

NASAArtist’s concept of our solar system. SPACE – The launch of the James Webb Telescope ended a busy year in terms of space events. The ultimate mission of Thomas Pesquet within theISS, the surge of tourist space flights or the collection of the first sample never extracted on Mars, all these episodes punctuated the space…

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