In 2022, these space highlights are worth waiting for

2022-07-29 0 By

In 2021, space exploration will bring us many wonderful things.In 2022, astronomers will continue to write new legends in space.The first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, the launch of an asteroid impact experiment and the search for signs of life on Mars are among the highlights to look forward to in 2022, according to mailOnline.A joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope launched on Christmas Day last year with a giant gold-plated foldable mirror 6.5 meters across,It’s the largest and most sensitive mirror ever built, and scientists call it the “golden eye.”The Webb telescope reportedly successfully opened its Golden Eye and entered its final orbit on January 24, with its primary and secondary mirrors fully deployed.It will orbit the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, an area about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.After that, Webb will have to cool down for several months to get close to absolute zero before it is calibrated and scientific observations begin in earnest.So people will have to wait another six months for the first images to be released.Webb, which is more powerful than Hubble, will search the universe for light streams from stars and galaxies that first formed 13.7 billion years ago.Space Launch System and Artemis missions NASA will conduct the first test flight of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in March 2022.Dubbed “the world’s most powerful rocket,” the $23 billion rocket is expected to launch a new generation of human space exploration, starting with transporting astronauts to the moon and back.SLS can take astronauts and supplies to the moon in one mission, but its first test flight, Artemis 1, will only carry the unmanned Orion crew module.Artemis 1 was due to launch next month, but has been pushed back to March or April because of “minor hicks” during testing procedures.NASA estimates that the SLS will cost about $2 billion per launch.The monster rocket will be the backbone of the Artemis mission, which will take astronauts to the moon and eventually to Mars.SpaceX chief Elon Musk says the company’s Starship rocket will make its first orbital test flight in March or April.Starship, the largest rocket ever built, is fully reusable and consists of overweight boosters and starship ships that will one day be used to land on Mars and send large payloads (weighing up to a ton) into low-Earth orbit.The Starship is designed to be refueled in orbit, so it can travel farther than low-Earth orbit, including to the moon and Mars.In December, Musk tweeted ambitious plans to add three more Raptor engines to starship, boosting its maximum thrust by 50 percent to dramatically improve its payload performance.DART is a NASA program that aims to hit an asteroid’s moon and slightly alter its orbit. DART will be the first demonstration of kinetic impactor technology that alters the motion and trajectory of an asteroid in space.DART also includes a small companion camera satellite that is expected to hit its target between September 26 and October 2.DART’s target asteroid poses no threat to Earth and is a “perfect testing ground” to see if a collision can alter its path, NASA said.Mars Astrobiology (ExoMars) is a joint ESA and Russian Federal Space Agency project that includes an orbiter and a rover named Rosalind Franklin.The SUV-sized vehicle is set to leave for Mars in September.It was originally scheduled to launch in August 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The mission’s main mission is to determine whether life ever flourished on Mars and to better understand the history of water on the planet.The rover will be assembled by Airbus and set to land on Mars’s Oxia Plateau in June 2023.Previous studies have suggested the Oxia Plateau could be an ancient Martian delta.The rover includes a drilling rig that can probe below the Surface of Mars and a tiny life-searching laboratory in an ultra-clean zone.ExoMars will search for signs of life for the first time about 3.66 meters below the surface of Mars.There, the biological signature of life might be well preserved.The BepiColombo probe’s second close encounter with Mercury will take place in June 2022, when it will come within 322 kilometers of the planet’s surface.Similar to the flyby in October 2021.In addition, it will make four more flybys of the planet closest to the Sun, in June 2023, September 2024, December 2024 and January 2025.The ultimate goal is to enter a scientific orbit 483 to 1,497 kilometers from Mercury, which it will finally enter in December 2025.Although Mercury is 10 times farther from Earth than Jupiter, it will take the same amount of time to get there.Because the probe will need to brake its way to Mercury to resist the sun’s gravitational pull, it will go a long way around the planet — by making multiple flybys of other planets in the inner solar system, including Mercury.