Here are the 8 most important space missions to follow in 2023

Here are the 8 most important space missions to follow in 2023

In 2023, enthusiasts of space news will hold many important events. Initial rocket flights, returns from scientific missions, and launch of probes. Here are the most notable events at the moment.

Mark your calendars: The space conquest calendar for 2023 has some notable events to remember. In addition to the first flights of several new rockets (Ariane 6, New Glenn, Vulcan Centaur), the next twelve months will be interrupted by the launch of science missions. And, by the return of one of them, after a seven-year space odyssey.

Initially, some of the work was scheduled to take place in 2022. But it is common to see space agencies reviewing their schedules. Private companies are also not immune from delays: SpaceX Its plans should also be revised from time to time. Keep in mind that under these conditions, this calendar may change over the months.

March 2023: Polaris Dawn

In early 2022, SpaceX announced the Polaris space program. The first mission, called Polaris Dawn, is scheduled for March 2023 – It was initially expected by the end of 2022. The ideal? Organizing the first spacewalk by a private company called SpaceX Only civilians are on board the Crew Dragon capsule.

Polaris Dawn
A view of Polaris at sunrise. // Source: SpaceX

April 2023: Juice heads for Jupiter and its moons

JUICE (Jupiter IC Moons Explorer) is an exploratory mission operated by the European Space Agency. Its goal? Send an inquiry ThursdayBiggest planet The Solar System. More specifically, it is its icy moons that interest Isa, ie Ganymede, Callisto. It’s a longer journey than juice. Arrival is expected in 2030.

September 2023: Osiris-Rex models return

The OSIRIS-REx mission returns home. Seven years after leaving Earth, the spaceship must reach Earth the planet In September 2023, Blue will have to abandon its off-season Samples from the asteroid Bennu. The US space agency plans to conduct a deeper study of rocks collected at Bennu. down to a molecular level.

Representation of OSIRIS-REx in September 2017.  // Source: Flickr/CC/Kevin Gill (cropped photo)
Representation of OSIRIS-REx in September 2017. // Source: Flickr/CC/Kevin Gill (cropped photo)

October 2023: The Psyche mission to a metallic asteroid is launched

The Psyche mission is a Chera space probe Metallic asteroid – The US space agency talks about it Like “Metal World”., because its composition contains a mixture of iron and nickel. The mission was originally expected in 2022. But it has been postponed to 2023. In this case, SpaceX will be using a Falcon Heavy rocket to provide the take-off.

During 2023: Inaugural flight of the European heavy rocket Ariane 6

We expected in 2020, 2021 and 2022. finally, Ariane 6’s baptism of fire is set for 2023. This next-generation heavy-lift launch vehicle will launch from the European Space Station Gouro in French Guiana. Includes significant improvements including the rocket in its engine And on top of that, the ability to maneuver in orbit, thanks to its re-ignition capability.

During 2023: Manned Moon flyby with SpaceX

In theory, SpaceX should continue a mission around 2023 with humans the moon. In the group Starship, a spaceship that has yet to fly into its orbit around Earth, we will specifically find the Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa. We will find out A dozen other personalities, artistsAs part of the DearMoon project.

Starship Moon
A flyby of the Moon by a Starship spacecraft (artist’s view). //Source: SpaceX

During 2023: Inaugural flight of the New Glenn Heavy rocket

Its first flight is expected in 2022 New Glen Now scheduled for 2023. It is a new generation launcher assembled by an American company Blue appearance. Released in 2016, it shows exceptional characteristics that bring it into super-heavy rockets like Saturn V or The. Space Launch System (SLS). Its first floor will be reusable.

Present 2023: Inaugural flight of the Vulcan Centaur rocket

The United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, is developing a new engine called the Vulcan Centaur to replace the two current launchers, the Atlas V and Delta IV. The machine should respond Private sector needsSuch as satellite operators, but also satisfy exports to NASA and the Pentagon.

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