New space missions to the Moon, Jupiter and a metallic world will be launched in 2023

New space missions to the Moon, Jupiter and a metallic world will be launched in 2023

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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 begin a walk toward a metallic world, a spacecraft will drop unprecedented samples of asteroids back to Earth, a historic mission to the Moon will land its crew, and several new commercial rockets could make their debut .

There is so much to wait foraccording to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

“More surprising discoveries Webb Telescope, climate missions this will tell us more about how our Earth is changing, the continuing science on the International Space Station, the innovative aeronautical developments with the X-59 i 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 he will launch a mission to Jupiter and its moons, send a satellite to create a 3D map of the universe, and begin training his new class of astronauts. which includes an astronaut with a physical disability.

INTERACTIVE: The best space photos of 2022

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

Last year, the opening 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 manned flight, the Artemis II mission, isn’t expected to lift off until the spring of 2024, the public could soon learn the names of the lucky astronauts on board.

The space agency has already reduced its astronaut corps to a field of 18 applicants who are 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 day.

The Artemis II mission is expected to send four people on a trip around the Moon and back to Earth.

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

While there may not be a crewed Artemis flight to look forward to this year, NASA has plans to place robotic landers on the Moon as part of its effort to further study the lunar terrain and radiation environment and look for resources that could potentially be extracted from the moon and used to propel exploration into deeper space.

That program is called Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, and is based 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 is slated to use its Peregrine lunar lander to get 11 instruments of science and exploration on the lunar surface in the early months of 2023. It will land in Lacus Mortis, a larger crater on the near side of the Moon.

Up to three other CLPS program missions could also lift off in 2023, they said NASA website.

The long-awaited Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission, known as JUICEwill be launched between April 5th and 25th.

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

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

Once it arrives at Jupiter in July 2031, the spacecraft and its suite of 10 instruments will make 35 flybys of the gas giant and its moons. Some of the mission’s goals include investigating whether life ever existed in the Jupiter system, how the gas giant shaped its moons, and how Jupiter itself formed.

Boeing has been working for a decade to develop a spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts there from the ISS, and it is expected that by 2023 be the year that this new space taxi is finally up and running.

After years of development delays and interruptions, the spacecraft, named Starliner, completed a unmanned test mission on the ISS last May, this was considered a success. And NASA officials have taken notice April 2023 for the first manned launch.

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

The Starliner is expected to complete 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 enters operations, SpaceX and Boeing are expected to split the missions, hoping to keep as many personnel as possible on the ISS before NASA retires the aging space station within the next decade.

Continuing one of the most prominent trends in spaceflight in the 2020s, some new commercial rocket companies are expected to debut new launch vehicles that are wholly owned and operated by the private sector.

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

SpaceX's first orbiter SN20 is seen near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022.

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

Several smaller rockets, specifically designed to carry light satellites into Earth orbit, could also come into play. Two US-based startups, Relativity and ABL Space Systems, could start the year with their first planned launches from Florida and Alaska, respectively.

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

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

OSIRIS-REx will pass through the Earth on September 24 and drop the sample, containing 2.1 ounces of Bennu surface material, at the Utah Test and Training Range. If the ship is still in good health, it will start a new 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 delaysthe first NASA spacecraft designed to study a metallic asteroid will launch in October.

The Psyche mission will set off 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, also called Psyche, that appears only as a blurry blur to ground-based and space-based telescopes.

This illustration shows the Psyche spacecraft flying by its namesake asteroid.

The unusual object may be a metallic core left over from a planet or a chunk 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 very heart of a planet like Earth.

The mission missed its original launch window of 2022 due to delays in software and equipment testing. The mission team has increased its workforce to complete pre-launch testing.

A variety of other missions are expected to launch in 2023. NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions Pollution Monitoring Mission, or TIMEwill measure pollution every hour in North America.

The agency will partner 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 join the project Mission Euclid to explore dark energy, a mysterious and invisible form of energy that drives the accelerated expansion of the universe.

The Stratospheric Astrophysics Telescope for high spectral resolution observations at submillimeter wavelengths or ASTHROS missionwill launch a balloon larger than a football field from Antarctica to study what stops star formation in some galaxies.

And the small NASA satellite called Lunar Trailblazer will use innovative instruments to gather data on the amount of water on the Moon.

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