12 most exciting space missions of 2023

(ORDO NEWS) — In 2023, new rockets will fly into space, OSIRIS-REx will return, and a mission to Jupiter will start, which will help us detect life beyond Earth.

Big Think writes about 12 exciting space events to look forward to in the next 12 months.

In 2023, new rockets will fly into space, OSIRIS-REx will return, and a mission to Jupiter will start, which will help us detect life beyond Earth.

2022 has been a truly significant year for spaceflight: NASA‘s huge rocket has finally taken off, the James Webb Space Telescope has transmitted the first scientific images, and the world’s first planetary defense mission has successfully crashed into an asteroid.

Next year is expected to be just as disruptive, so let’s list 12 exciting space events to look forward to in the next 12 months.

1- Launch on Psyche

Deep beneath the Earth’s rocky crust and viscous mantle lies a metallic core. Since we can’t get to it, we know little about it – and therefore have little idea of ​​\u200b\u200bhow terrestrial planets form in general.

Mission Psyche (“Psyche”) will help fill this gap. The NASA orbiter, scheduled to launch in October 2023, will fly almost 300 million kilometers to the metal-rich asteroid Psyche – astronomers have suspected a naked core in it, which will lift the veil of mystery about what lies under the rocky surface of the Earth.

2- Return of OSIRIS-Rex

If Psyche only starts in 2023, then another asteroid mission, OSIRIS-REx, on the contrary, should return. In 2020, she landed on the surface of the asteroid Bennu and collected the first samples of asteroid soil in the United States.

Pieces of space rock are now flying back to Earth, and the valuable payload is expected to arrive in September 2023. It is hoped that thanks to it, scientists will improve the accuracy of remote observations of asteroids – in case another alien rock threatens us in the future.

3- Mission VICTUS NOX

Continuing the theme of space defense, the VICTUS NOX mission should be mentioned, but it does not protect the entire Earth from asteroids, but the United States – and from enemies in a space war, if they have their eyes on our key satellites.

This mission is a test: during 2023, the US Space Force’s Space Safari program will command Firefly Aerospace to launch a satellite. The supplier will have only 24 hours to put it into orbit, and this will prove that the United States is able to quickly replace the downed equipment.

4- Rocket on a 3D printer

However, Firefly Aerospace isn’t the only newcomer to the aerospace industry with big visions for 2023. Los Angeles-based startup Relativity Space is looking to launch the Terran 1, the world’s first 3D printed rocket. Its launch window opens on January 31st.

The successful Terran 1 flight will clear the way for the development of the larger Terran R rocket, which Relativity expects to deliver the first commercial payload to Mars as early as 2024.

5- Hybrid rocket from Australia

Another newcomer to the space arena, Australian company Gilmour Space Technologies, plans to launch its first Eris rocket in April 2023. If she is lucky, Australia will become only the twelfth representative of the space club with its own rocket.

In addition, in the event of a successful launch, Eris will become the first rocket with a hybrid engine, where the fuel and oxidizer are in different states of aggregation. This will help make space travel cheaper and safer.

6- Starship launch

Major aerospace companies also have first-of-its-kind launches scheduled for 2023, and perhaps the public’s greatest anticipation is the SpaceX spacecraft that will take NASA’s SLS the title of largest rocket ever.

In November and December 2022, SpaceX conducted a series of static tests of the engines of a massive rocket, and although Elon Musk‘s company has not yet set a date for the first ever orbital launch of its starship, experts predict that this will happen in the first half of 2023.

7- Bezos Orbital Rocket

Billionaire Musk’s rival Jeff Bezos has his own aerospace company, Blue Origin, but unlike SpaceX, its New Shephard rocket (named after astronaut Alan Shepard) is not capable of making a full orbit around the planet.

The company expects to change that at the end of 2023, when its first orbital rocket New Glenn (“New Glenn” in honor of astronaut John Glenn) will go into space.

Development of the heavy-lift rocket began ten years ago and its first launch has already been delayed three times, but if New Glenn does fly in 2023, Blue Origin could compete with SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) for NASA contracts.

8- “Volcano Centaur” door ULA

Speaking of ULA, since its inception in 2006, the joint venture of aerospace giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing has launched more than 150 Atlas and Delta rockets for NASA, the US Department of Defense and other customers.

The company expects to launch its next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket in early 2023, with a lander from Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technologies taking its first flight to the moon.

9- Ispace lunar lander

Depending on the launch timing of the Vulcan Centaur rocket, Astrobotics’ Peregrine (“Pilgrim”) lander could be the first of its kind on the Moon. (Its competitor is the brainchild of Houston-based Intuitive Machines Nova-C, which is expected to launch in March 2023.)

But another private lander, HAKUTO-R from the Japanese startup ispace, still has an advantage over competitors. It launched aboard a SpaceX rocket on Dec. 11, but won’t reach the moon until April 2023: it takes a detour, using the Earth’s and Sun’s gravity to cut fuel consumption.

10- India’s second attempt

If everything goes smoothly with the ispace mission, Japan will join the short list of countries that have made a soft landing on the moon. In July, India also hopes to sign up for it after the launch of the Chandrayaan-3 lander (“Chandrayan-3”).

This will be India’s second attempt to land on the moon – the first, Chandrayaan 2, ended in an emergency landing in 2019, but the national space agency is hopeful that the mission will be successful thanks to updated technology.

11- Worlds Beyond Jupiter

The European Space Agency (ESA) also planned a space mission for 2023, and not for one satellite, but for as many as three – Jupiter’s satellites Ganymede, Callisto and Europe, which have their own oceans.

The launch of the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) satellite is scheduled for April 2023. It will fly around the satellites a total of 35 times and use a set of ten instruments. It is hoped that this mission will help to figure out where and how life can exist in the universe.

12- Chinese orbiting telescope

If all goes according to plan, 2023 will end just like 2021: with the launch of a new space telescope. But unlike NASA’s James Webb, which is tuned for infrared, China‘s Xuntian Orbital Telescope will observe visible and near-ultraviolet light.

Thus, the new telescope will become a kind of successor to the dying Hubble, only with 350 times greater coverage. Xuntian will be able to explore 40% of the sky in a decade, while the decrepit Hubble has not mastered even 0.8% in as much as 32 years.

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