The main space missions currently on schedule in 2023

There are several significant space missions taking place this year, ranging from Solar System exploration to astronomy and crewed spaceflight
space missions 2023

There are several significant space missions taking place this year, ranging from Solar System exploration to astronomy and crewed spaceflight. planned by various space agencies around the world. These missions are expected to advance our understanding of the universe and take us one step closer to achieving our long-term space goals.

Here are some of the most exciting space missions that are set to take place in 2023:

5 space missions on schedule in 2023

The following are some of the main space missions happening in 2023:

Planetary missions

In 2023, two significant planetary missions and one smaller mission are expected to be launched.

Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), an ESA mission, will blast off in April aboard an Ariane 5 rocket and land on Jupiter in October 2029. All the Jupiter moons will be closely examined by JUICE. 

In October, NASA’s Psyche will launch on a Falcon Heavy rocket in search of the mysterious “metal asteroid” 16 Psyche. The mission will arrive at the rock in the middle of 2029 if everything goes according to plan.

Ultimately, MIT’s ambitious Venus mission may be launched in May by Rocket Lab. It will reach Venus in late 2023 if it launches from Mahia Launch Complex One in New Zealand as planned. A little probe will be lowered by the mission into Venus’ atmosphere.

The EEuclidn euclid mission

Beginning with the ESA’s Euclid telescope, which will conduct a thorough investigation of the dark side of the Universe, that is dark matter and dark energy, two significant new space telescopes will launch into orbit in 2023.

While dark energy appears to be pulling galaxies away, dark matter is the mysterious material that holds them together. Thus speeding the Universe’s expansion.

Although these dark relatives have been a part of our knowledge of the cosmos for many years, we are still unsure of their exact nature.

Therefore, by examining billions of galaxies, whose light has traveled more than 10 billion years to hit us, Euclid will aid astronomers in their quest to grasp these enigmatic forces.

China’s Xuntian mission

Xuntian, which means “survey the sky,” will be launched by the Chinese spacecraft in the final quarter of 2023.

The telescope shares many characteristics with the older Hubble Space Telescope. Such as a two-meter-wide mirror, the ability to observe in both the visible and near-ultraviolet spectrum, and a multipurpose design. But it has cameras with 300 times more resolution than its forerunner.

The recently finished Tiangong Space Station will be in the same orbit as Xuntian, which will be independent of it. Because Xuntian can dock with the Tiangong Space Station for maintenance and upgrades, it may last much longer than its intended 10-year life.

Read also: International Space Station, what are its current missions in the space

Crewed spaceflight

The age of human spaceflight is changing. The new Orion crew module, which will eventually send people beyond the Moon, underwent a successful test in November 2022 by NASA.

Not that low-Earth orbit is being ignored, though.

But in addition to the three spacecraft now transporting men to their respective space stations, the Russian Soyuz, the Chinese Shenzhou, and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, two more could soon add.

The flight is way behind schedule as a result of the 2019 unmanned test flight failure to reach the intended orbit.

However, the Gaganyaan crew module, which the Indian Space Research Organization has been developing, is expected to undergo at least one uncrewed trial in the latter part of 2023.

SpaceX deploys its starship spaceship to orbit

SpaceX has established a reputation for success in the aerospace sector over recent years. Now, the organization intends to strive to make much more history.

SpaceX is on the move to utilize its Ultra Heavy first-stage rocket engine to launch its second-stage spaceflight, Starship, into orbit somewhere in early 2023, be it late February or March. According to SpaceX, the two are together known as “Starship”. And the corporation intends to exploit them in the future as a reusable shipping system for both goods and people.

Lunar solar sample return mission (NASA)

The Lunar Polar Sample Return (LPSR) mission is a proposed future mission by NASA. It aims to bring back samples from the polar regions of the Moon. The mission would involve sending a spacecraft to the Moon’s polar regions. Where it would collect soil and rock samples from the permanently shadowed regions.

The mission is significant because the permanently shadowed regions of the Moon are thought to contain valuable resources. Such as water ice, which could be used by future lunar missions for a variety of purposes. Including supporting human exploration.

The LPSR mission would involve several phases. Including launching the spacecraft from Earth, navigating to the Moon, landing on the surface, collecting samples, and returning them to Earth. The mission would likely involve the use of robotic systems, as well as advanced navigation and communication technologies.

Disclaimer on flight plans

After all, we must voice out the disclaimer on flight plans for 2023 along with every other year. Timings will change, and rollout will encounter delays or might undergo cancellation due to politics, cost estimates, or technical issues. Nonetheless, space travel will undoubtedly increase in 2023, reaching Earth orbit or even beyond.

Anyways, whether on purpose or by mistake, whenever you look high in the stars in 2023, you could be watching a milestone in space exploration.

Read also: Space exploration, trends and forecasts for the near future

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