Space science missions to look forward to in 2022
- There are some major space and science missions planned for 2022.
- NASA plans to return to the moon, while ESA has missions targeted for Jupiter and the moon.
- India’s maiden human space mission will also kick off with the first uncrewed space flight in 2022.
Advertisement2021 has been an eventful year for space with space tourism kicking off in full swing, the first chilli peppers grown in space, a toilet leak, some dangerous space debris and more. We also have a very big launch to look forward to on Christmas day which is NASA’s James Webb space telescope that is expected to help us understand what the universe looked like 14 billion years ago after the Big Bang.
There’s always something big to look forward to in space and 2022 has some major launches planned to know about other planets, the moon, exoplanets and more. With only a few days more for 2022 to kick in, we take a look at some of the biggest space and science missions planned for the next year.
NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission
NASA’s Artemis 1 flight, its uncrewed mission around the moon is planned to launch in March or April 2022. This mission was earlier scheduled for February 2022 but issues in its testing program delayed the launch. This spaceflight will be the first in NASA’s Artemis program under which the space agency plans to send astronauts to the moon later this decade.
Gaganyaan first uncrewed mission
India’s maiden space human space mission “Gaganyaan” is scheduled to kick off next year with the first uncrewed mission taking place during the first half of 2022. This will be followed by another uncrewed mission and finally the crewed mission in 2023 that will make India the fourth country to send humans to space.
NASA’s Psyche mission
NASA’s Psyche spacecraft is scheduled to launch in August 2022 and arrive at the metal-rich asteroid belt ‘Psyche’ in 2026. This potato-looking asteroid belt sits between Mars and Jupiter and NASA plans to examine it to find answers about the formation of our solar system. The asteroid belt is believed to be rich in metal making it part of the very first generation of early metal cores in our solar system.
The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to send UK-assembled rover Rosalind Franklin and the Kazachok Russian surface platform to Mars in September next year. The ExoMars rover will travel for nine months and reach the red planet in June 2023. It is designed to probe Mars searching for clues of past life and it will also analyse the soil to look for biosignatures.
Another major mission for the ESA in 2022 is JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer). The JUICE mission is designed to explore Jupiter and three of its icy moons - Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa. This mission is expected to help astrobiologists understand how habitable worlds might emerge around gas giant planets.
NASA’s science missions
NASA has four science missions planned for 2022 to help scientists learn more about the Earth’s climatic conditions and systems.The four NASA science missions include TROPICS, EMIT, NOAA’s JPSS-2 and SWOT, and each mission is designed to observe different climatic systems of Earth.
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