From private flights to missions to the icy moons of Jupiter, up to the launch of the first Chinese space telescope and the first Indian mission with astronauts on board: the 2023 ‘space’ calendar is already full of events.
The first appointment, as reported by the British magazine All About Space, is scheduled for February, when the shuttle Gaganyaanof the Indian Space Agency, will bring three astronauts in orbit for seven days. Sara first time for India and, as is the case for the International Space Station and for the Chinese Tiangong, the Indian shuttle will also reach low orbit, about 400 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.
The mission is expected in March Polaris Dawn from the SpaceX, which for five days will fly with a crew made up entirely of private citizens. Participants are also preparing to complete the first commercial spacewalk, which will take place 700 kilometers from Earth.
In April it will be the turn of Juicethe mission of theEuropean Space Agency (ESA) which will face a journey of seven years to reach Jupiter and three of its icy moons: Europe, Callisto and Ganymede. The mission will be the first to closely study the latter, the only one in the Solar System to have its own magnetic field, before destroying itself on impact on its surface.
In the same month theAustralia is preparing to become the twelfth country to launch a own rocketbuilt by the private company Gilmour Space Technologies.
In mid-2023, another private SpaceX mission is preparing to reach the International Space Station with a crew of four, who are expected to remain on board for 10 days.
The company Virgin Galacticmeanwhile, is preparing the first suborbital flight with four passengers on board, who will thus be able to experience the effects of microgravity in a journey lasting approximately 90 minutes. Tickets sold for $450,000.
It is expected in July Russian mission Moon 25, originally scheduled to depart in 2022, which will bring a robotic vehicle to the lunar south pole to experiment with soft landing technology and study the soil and atmosphere. However, the chances that the conflict with Ukraine will cause the mission to be postponed further are high.
September 24 is scheduled for return to Earth of the mission Osiris-Rex of NASA, which in 2020 managed to collect a sample from the asteroid Bennu. If all goes according to plan, the vehicle will parachute the champion over the Utah desert (USA) in September. The event will keep you in suspense until the very last minute as a small error in reentry timing, speed or angle is enough to miss your target or cause the destruction of your precious cargo.
Another mission dedicated to an asteroid will start soon after: the launch of is expected in October Psychefrom NASA, which will join the namesake asteroid in 2029 with the aim of studying its particular composition of nickel and iron.
The end of 2023 will also be full of appointments. In December, the China he should pitch his first big space telescopecalled Xuntain, which means ‘sentinel of space’. With a life expectancy of 10 years, its main mirror will be two meters wide, allowing it to study a region of the sky 300 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA and ESA.
In the same month, the probe Juno of NASA will make a flyby with theone of Jupiter’s moons, about 1,500 kilometers away: it will be the first close encounter with the Jovian moon in more than 20 years.
A new rocket launch attempt by the Scottish company is also expected by the end of the year Skyrora, from SaxaVord base, under construction on the Shetland Isles; a second spaceport, which aims to be the ‘greenest’ in the world, is planned in the Scottish Highlands.
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