The space missions of 2022: where is humanity headed?

At the end of the year 2021, on December 25, the James Webb telescope said goodbye to Earth to explore the cosmos and find the holy grail of knowledge by observing the dynamics of galaxies. In 2022, various space missions looking to the future that will continue to attract the interest of a growing public increasingly interested in the advances of off-planet study.

These progressive chapters of history are no longer limited to being consumed only in certain sectors. The accessible language of the disseminators on all platforms, even in press releases from NASA, ESA and other agencies, allows a greater approach to netizens, taking advantage of the quality in the distribution of official information. And that will only attract good news and strengthen the links between experts and enthusiasts.

Tighten your belts, because 2022 promises to be a valuable year for astronautics and its evolution:

The test flight of the Artemis mission In its embryonic phase, baptized as Artemis-I, it will be executed no later than March of this year from Launch Complex 39B at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (Florida, United States). They will send an Orion spacecraft into space inside a Space Launcher System (SLS) rocket to calculate impacts on a crew of astronauts heading to the Moon in advanced stages.

Because the SLS computer was faulty in its mechanism, the engineers at the SLS POT they dismissed the departure of the giant apparatus in February and delayed it. Despite the optimal fire test of full evaluation in March last year, the error was evident and they chose to change the motor controller.

NASA – in collaboration with ESA and the space agencies of Japan, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Mexico – aims to bring the first woman to the south pole of our natural satellite no later than 2024, with the ultimate goal of establishing a sustainable colony on Mars by 2033.

A 300kg, six-wheeled robotic explorer named Rosalind franklin In honor of the British chemist who participated in the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA, it could be launched in September from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, to Mars. It would only arrive in 2023 on the outskirts of Oxia Planum, a plain of the red planet.

The spacecraft will have a drill capable of extracting rock samples, at a depth of up to two meters. It will look for biological patterns on the surface and identify ‘false positives’ – a headache for astrophysicists.

This ESA and Roscosmos mission will accompany the Perseverance rover on its unusual journey within the fourth planet of the solar system, also considered the future settlement of humanity.

The Peregrine Lander from Astrobotic will deliver payloads precisely to the lunar orbit and its surface. It will be sent into space with the United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket. In order to be evaluated by commercial partners and NASA, the test mission will transport more than a dozen packages.

The robot technology will achieve high reliability ground computing speed. “Resistant and radiation-tolerant computing allows autonomous landing and safety in the demanding space environment,” highlights its official website.

The main engines and four groups of attitude control thrusters will maintain the lander’s orientation. It will be powered by a panel of triple junction solar cells.

The module will land near a possible skylight in the basalt plain of Lacus Mortis, located in the northeast quadrant of the Moon. Although there is no exact date for its shipment, NASA announced that it will be given in 2022.

With 10 scientific instruments on board, 42 million kilometers from the Sun, NASA and ESA’s Solar Orbiter will modify its inclination to change the angle of visibility of the polar regions of the star king on September 3. At the same time, it will fly over Venus.

The objectives of the artificial satellite are to take the closest images of our parent star, measure its solar wind composition, and obtain close-up photographs of its polar zones. In addition, it will coordinate observations with the Parker probe.

The POT confirmed that the Psyche spacecraft will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in August this year towards 16 Psyche “An unexplored world” of the asteroid belt. The metal wealth of the great rock, which moves between Mars and Jupiter, would represent 10 times the global economy.

“From ground and space telescopes, the asteroid appears as a blurry spot. What scientists know from radar data is that it is shaped like a potato and that it turns on its side.”, Says NASA in a statement.

Psyche will perform flight maneuvers beyond Mars nine months after being sent to the vicinity of the solar system. In a total trip of 2.4 billion kilometers, the probe will use the gravitational pull of the red planet in order to target 16 Psyche. It will only approach in the year 2025.

The DART spacecraft, symbol of the first planetary defense mission, will crash on September 26 against Dimorphos, the satellite of the double asteroid system, completed by Didymos, in order to try to divert its trajectory. This is only a test in case there is a real threat in the future. The Earth is safe from any collision, according to mathematical calculations.

At their closest point, both rocky bodies will remain at a distance of 11 million kilometers from our planet.

China plans to finish the construction of its space station in 2022. For that reason, they have planned 40 launches that will include two Shenzhou manned missions, two Tianzhou cargo ships and two additional modules of the orbital laboratory, as reported by the official Xinhua news agency. .

NASA will replace the International Space Station with a commercial one in 2030. The spacecraft’s operational life was to end in 2024, but it was extended by six years. The Asian giant hopes to become the main leader in space exploration.