2022 Space Goals!

Missions to the Moon, asteroids, Mars, will be launched next year, propelling space science forward.

Why it matters: The data from these upcoming missions will enable scientists to learn more than ever before about objects in our solar system and beyond.

What's going on: NASA, the European Space Agency, and Japan's space agency, JAXA, are all planning to launch probes to various locations throughout the solar system this year. They are as follows:

Mars: In September, the European Space Agency and Russia plan to launch their joint ExoMars lander and rover to the Red Planet's surface.

  • On the Martian surface, it will join NASA's Perseverance and Curiosity rovers. Both are expected to continue working the following year.

Asteroids: NASA's Psyche mission is scheduled to launch in August 2022 with the goal of exploring a strange, metal-dominated asteroid that may have once been part of a long-dead planet's core.;

  • Next year, NASA's DART mission will arrive at its asteroid target in the hopes of slamming into it and learning more about what it takes to throw a dangerous space rock off course with Earth.

The Moon: NASA plans to send its Space Launch System mega-rocket around the Moon for the first time, and the space agency plans to load it with scientific experiments.

  • The rocket will launch a slew of small satellites to study water in the lunar environment.
  • Other countries, such as Japan, Russia, and India, are planning missions to the Moon next year. The mission, known as Luna-25, is designed to look for water near the Moon's south pole.
  • The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, launched on 25th December 2021.

The JWST's mission is to piece together the universe's early history by using its powerful, sensitive instrumentation to see the light of some of the universe's first galaxies and cut through dust to see newborn stars.

The space telescope will also study the atmospheres of distant alien worlds.

Between the lines: As each of these missions takes off and reaches its destination, astronomers and planetary scientists will be setting new goals for the coming years.

  • In 2021, an influential report outlined the major astronomy and astrophysics priorities for the next decade, with the goal of finding a potential twin of Earth orbiting a star similar to the Sun.
  • Researchers and agencies such as NASA will continue to find ways to prioritize those and other goals set forth by the scientific community this year in 2022.

What to keep an eye on: China is expected to keep collecting data from ongoing robotic missions to the Moon and Mars.

In the next year or so, the country is also expected to complete its space station, providing a new platform for possible scientific research above Earth.

That’s a wrap for this article and is probably the last article on shreyaan.tech for 2021! Here's to a better and brighter 2022! Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

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