If you’re looking to explore the cosmos, this is your lucky day! NASA’s space missions have helped us learn more about our universe and its wonders. Here are their top seven most amazing missions so far this year:
Mission to Mars
The first time humans ventured to Mars was in 1962 and it would be another 6 years before the second successful mission. The third ever expedition took place over 10 years ago, but we’re talking about a new breed of space explorers at NASA who are ready for their chance at glory as they set out on 3 different missions this year alone.
NASA is sending three separate groups back into outer-space with one bold goal: explore anomalies that have been previously detected by unmanned spacecrafts orbiting our neighboring planet’s surface!
Commercial Lunar Payloads
The first ever mission to land on Earth’s moon was in December 1968 when American astronaut Neil Armstrong descended onto extraterrestrial soil via Apollo 11 while orbiting around it over two-weeks prior as part of the Lunar Orbiter program; however, we are now about to conduct Commercial Lunar Payload trips.
Astrobotic Technology’s Peregrine lander, set to be launched on United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket next June, will carry the first batch of 28 CLPS payloads–14 from NASA and 14 from Intuitive Machines. The launch is scheduled for late October this year when Astrobotic will send its Nova-C Lander aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket with at least five NASA payloads onboard (along with other group’s).
Rest in Peace, Juno
After spending almost two years orbiting Jupiter, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will be ending its mission this Friday. With the help of instruments like its Microwave Radiometer (MWR) and Ultraviolet/Visible Light Auroral Mapper (UVA), it has provided us with our most detailed data yet about one of the solar system’s biggest planets.
One thing that surprised scientists was how high up in Jupiter’s atmosphere some auroras could occur; another is just what color these light shows actually are!
Russia has announced that Luna 25 will be the last mission to the moon, but their new lander is set for launch in October. The Russian spacecraft carries a suite of instruments and capacities designed to study lunar soil on its surface which should help increase our understanding about who needs it most with regards to sustainability concerns.
In response to the rapid development of NASA’s Artemis program and China’s lunar exploration program, Russia has resurrected its Luna 25 mission. The new lander will head for the moon’s south pole in October 2019 with a suite of scientific instruments on board that explore soil samples from this never before studied region.
The Chinese Space Station
The next phase of China’s Tiangong program is a modular orbital space station about one-fifth the size of the ISS. The first part to be launched in 2021, Tinahe, will serve as a core service module and provide facilities for living quarters with two bedrooms equipped with bunk beds; recreation room fitted with three sofas that fold out into sleeping berths; bathroom (and toilet) fit for up to six people at once—plenty enough given each taikonaut crew consists only of three individuals.
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This will be followed by another 10 missions over 2 years which build upon this foundation and have it ready for use by trios of taikonauts who can work there on board or outside its confines during their long
Virgin Orbit has been busy building their launch business and keeping customers happy. It seems that they are trying to be different than other aerospace companies by using air-launch technology instead of traditional ground launches like SpaceX or Blue Origin. The company’s first test flight in May was cut short because something went wrong with the propellant line, but Virgin Orbit is back at it again–their next scheduled launch will take place on October 10th!
Virgin orbit currently have a lot of people waiting for flights from them, even though there hasn’t been any successful tests yet (due to an issue with fuel lines). They’re doing things differently than most rocket builders who use land based launching pads; this means all launches happen when the aircraft carrying the rockets takes off