Last year, a good little bunch of important space missions were successfully carried out. Among these, the successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope or the landing of Perseverance and D’Ingenuity on the red planet.
2022 will not be outdone, however. This year has indeed many missions in store for us that will make history, some of which were already planned for 2021. But as you know, the health crisis has been there and upset the calendar.
SpaceXthe NASA or even theESA will be behind these long-awaited space missions. The Russia will also be there, in particular by resuming its conquest of the Moon.
2022 will be decisive for the James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope, designed in partnership by ESA and NASA, was successfully put into orbit on December 25, 2021. A milestone date (which this project has had several decades of As a reminder, JWST will be the very first infrared space observatory.
Launched a little over a month ago, it will take about five more months before JWST is fully operational. Last month, NASA announced that the solar shield as well as the primary mirror were fully deployed. And if all goes according to plan, this ultra-capable space telescope should start doing its job by the end of summer 2022.
Read also: After years of waiting, the James Webb Space Telescope is finally in space
SpaceX will also not be idle in 2022
In recent years, SpaceX, the firm of Elon Musk, has not ceased to be talked about. And that is not likely to change in 2022. First of all, SpaceX plans to chain a dozen tests to prepare for the first orbital launch of its reusable super heavy orbital launcher Starship.
This first launch should therefore take place this year. A mission during which Space X will put Starship in orbit for a short time, before crashing it into the Pacific Ocean. If all goes as planned, after this test, this heavy launcher should be operational by 2023.
During 2022, SpaceX will also contribute to a major lunar mission, sponsored by NASA. Indeed, it will be a rocket Falcon 9who will take care of the transport of Nova-Ca lunar lander from the firm Intuitive Machinery towards the Moon.
Read also: A SpaceX rocket stage will soon crash into the far side of the Moon
Russia also plans to return to the Moon
In the 1950s and 1970s, the USSR launched many unmanned missions to the Moon. But for 45 long years, Russia has no longer touched the lunar ground. However, this was to change in 2021 thanks to the project Moon 25. A mission during which a rocket Soyuz-2-1b Fregat must ferry a lander to the Moon.
On the calendar side, the launch was initially scheduled for October 2021. The mission was however postponed due to problems related to the Luna 25 landing system. The problem now being resolved, the Luna 25 mission should finally be launched. by July 2022 with the objective of landing near the South Pole of our satellite.