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Going to the Moon and Mars: What’s Next in 2022 for Space Travel

A SpaceX Ariane 5 rocket is seen with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on the launch pad, Thursday, December 23, 2021, at the European Spaceport, Guyana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

Photo: NASA/Kris Jean

This year will be full of historical events and space missions. From returning to the moon, to the first planetary defense mission training how to ward off asteroids, or the search for access to Mars. These are some of the things that should not be missed.

2022 is expected to be an important year for exploration and space travel. In the past few days, we have seen how the James Webb Telescope completed its most difficult feats 900,000 km from Earth, and by this year we expect to receive its first images. (We recommend: One of the more complex steps for the James Webb Telescope has been completed successfully)

But it is not the only thing. Space forces also have many goals. The United States will seek to return to the Moon, carrying out a series of tasks to establish a “lunar colony”. Europe and Russia will, after several failed attempts, land spaceships on Mars. China, India, South Korea, and Japan also plan to send various missions into space.

NASA also hopes for good news. It will, for the first time, test our planetary defense capabilities with the DART mission. It will explore black holes and other cosmic objects with X-ray lights, searching for the first unmanned Artemis mission around the moon and back to Earth.

But its biggest effort will focus on the new Space Launch System (SLS), its most advanced rocket technology that will seek to deliver astronauts to the Moon and beyond as part of a deep space exploration program. The first release date will be set for February.

visit the moon

NASA will also launch a massive robotic mission program to the Moon. The first missions will begin this year and will aim to map underground water reservoirs, study the moon’s interior depth, and deploy rover vehicles to explore the lunar surface.

Earth on Mars

This year’s joint European-Russian mission, ExoMars, hopes to land a roving robot on a muddy plain on the Red Planet called Oxia Planum. The rover, named after Rosalind Franklin, a British chemist and DNA pioneer, will be equipped with a drill capable of exploring several meters below the surface in order to search for primitive life forms or the remains of extinct organisms. The launch date is set for September 22, and it is expected to land on June 10, 2023.

planetary defense

This will definitely be one of the most followed missions in the year that begins. Like science fiction, NASA will test its own planetary defense system. The DART mission aims to demonstrate a method for asteroid deflection, called the kinetic effect. In October 2022, DART will impact the small asteroid moon Dimorphos, which orbits its larger companion, Didymos, in a binary asteroid system to change the period of its orbit. (You can read: From the movie: NASA’s First Planetary Defense Mission Takes Off)

spatial tourism

The two giants, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, will continue to pursue further achievements of the private sector in space tourism. Last year, they were able to launch sub-orbital flights in which passengers were in space for minutes. This year, the two companies hope to start regular missions.

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