2022 will be a prosperous year for big space travel. Ten of them are particularly to be followed with great care.
For anyone interested in the news of space conquest 2022 promises to be exciting: several rockets (Ariane 6, Vega-C, Vulcan Centaur, New Glenn) are about to build their first aircraft. The Chinese space station is to be completed. Boeing’s capsule, Starliner, must reach International Space Station (ISS).
But above all, 2022 should be an opportunity to start or continue some more long-distance missions: the James Webb Space Telescope will provide its first scientific data; ExoMars 2022 mission is set to depart for Tuesday; Psychological study of a metal asteroid; After all, NASA should give the astronauts the starting signal to return to the moon!
A word of warning: since space is a complex matter, initially scheduled dates may change for some reason. In other words, the table below is given as a code and it is likely to evolve. If this happens, we will do everything we can to stay up to date.
February 2022: The Artemis 1 mission orbits the moon
Artemis 1 is the first mission of the Artemis project, which aims to bring astronauts back to the moon. This first mission will be an uninhabited mission: involving the creation of a ring around the satellite by means of the Orion capsule. It will also be the occasion to launch the first aircraft of NASA’s new space launch system (SLS).
2nd Quarter 2022: Launch of the European light rocket Vega-Chi
The new version of the European light launcher Vega is set to build its first aircraft in 2022. The engine, designed to be used as a booster for the Ariane 6, completes the range of European rockets with the Soyuz (medium launcher) and the Ariane 5 then the 6 (heavy launcher). Vega-C, as its name implies, will be operated from the Cayenne Space Center.
1st Quarter 2022: CST-100 Starliner test for ISS
The transport capsule, built by Boeing, is set to undergo a second unmanned test flight in Q1 2022, after a failed first attempt at the end of 2019. The CST-100 Starliner capsule will then undergo another test in 2022, but it’s time with the training team. Then the actual tasks take place.
June / July 2022: First data recovery from the James Webb Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope left Earth on December 25, 2021, but will not reach its target until the end of January 2022. Then, the monitor enters a long phase of calibration and alignment. It takes 6 months to complete these preparatory activities. Its first scientific data were collected and published in the middle of the year.
September 2022: Departure for the Exomars 2022 expedition
The European Space Agency, along with its Russian counterpart Roscosmos, is set to launch the second phase of the ExoMars mission. It is a robotic mission to Mars. The purpose is to land Rosalind Franklin, a rover on the surface of the Red Planet. The first part of the work took place in 2016.
3rd Quarter 2022: Launch of the European heavy rocket Ariane 6
The new generation of European heavy launchers will also make their first flight in 2022 from the European space station Grove in Guyana. Everything on site is ready for the big day: engines, launch pads and contracts. Rocket benefits, among other things, from the upper level with the ability to maneuver in orbit, thanks to its ruling capability.
2022: Chinese space station Tiankong completed
China needs to complete construction of a space station called Diangong. The system has already made good progress in 2021: it can now accommodate groups and longer. A central block, Tianhe, is already in place. Two complementary laboratories, Wentian and Mengtian, are set to merge in Tianhe in the coming months.
2022: Psych Mission launches a metal asteroid
NASA plans to launch Psychic mission, which includes a space probe to orbit near a metal asteroid – described by the space agency as the “Metal World”. It is a body of a mixture of iron and nickel. This will be an opportunity for SpaceX to mobilize its heavy rocket Falcon Heavy, which is rarely used.
2022: Launch of the New Glenn Heavy Rocket
2022 should be the year of the launch of the new rocket New Glenn’s aircraft by the American company Blue Origin. Released in 2016, it has enormous dimensions, allowing it to carry heavier loads in orbit. This is not its only specialty: it must be fitted with a reusable first stage.
2022: Launch of the Vulcan Center rocket
The United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, is betting on a new engine, looking to replace two existing launchers, the Atlas V and the Delta IV: Vulcan Center. The craft claims that it responds not only to business orders, but also to certain requirements of NASA and the security of the United States.