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3 special space missions worth looking forward to in early 2022

The past 12 months have witnessed countless exciting space missions, and 2022 looks set to be another equally exciting year of launch.

In the next few months, we picked three notable tasks, two of which used SpaceX hardware and one used NASA’s own equipment.

Mission: Starship orbit test flight

Provider: Space X
Launch location:Boca Chica, Texas
date:to be confirmed
Why is it so special?The first orbital flight of the world’s most powerful rocket.

Starship is a reusable launch vehicle consisting of the second stage of Starship and the first stage of the extremely powerful Super Heavy.

Although the second stage of the interplanetary spacecraft has been tested in five high-altitude flights, it has only successfully landed safely once. On the other hand, Super Heavy has not yet flown.

SpaceX has put the rocketStack up and ready to launchFor the first orbital test flight, it is now awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. An announcement is expected at the end of February. If it is beneficial to SpaceX, it is expected that the rocket will fly into the sky in a week or two.

The stacked Super Heavy and Starship are 394 feet (120 meters) tall, about 9 meters taller than NASA’s SLS rocket and the tallest launch vehicle ever.

Its amazing thrust capability is about 16 million pounds, the largest thrust of rockets to date, and twice that of the Saturn V rocket that provided power for NASA astronauts to the moon 50 years ago.

Once Starship meets all necessary safety requirements, it can be used for manned missions to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Mission: Ax-1 to the International Space Station

supplier: SpaceX
Launch location:Cape Canaveral, Florida
date: February 28, 2022
Why is it so special?NASA’s first space tourism mission to the International Space Station.

During a week-long trip organized by Texas-based Axiom Space, SpaceX will deploy its main Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft to transport three ordinary citizens to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Ax-1 mission will bePerformed by Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy, American entrepreneur Larry Connor, and former Israeli Air Force pilot Eytan Stibbe, as well as mission commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría.

According to reports, the three amateur astronauts each paid 55 million U.S. dollars to obtain the privilege of staying in the orbital outpost, during which they will devote themselves to their medical-related research and charity projects.

Tourist travel is part of NASA’s renewed effort to commercialize the space station, using such flights to raise funds while increasing private citizens’ access to space.

NASA’s Russian counterpart RoscosmosRecently put two amateur astronautsSent to the International Space Station for a short stay, and shortly before that organized a trip of two Russian filmmakers.

Mission: Artemis I landed on the moon and returned

provider:NASA
Launch location:Cape Canaveral, Florida
date: March 2022
Why is it so special?This is the first test flight of NASA’s most powerful rocket to date and an important stepping stone for the first manned mission to the moon in 50 years.

NASA plans to put the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the moon before the end of this decade. But first, it needs to try the new hardware that brought them there-the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft.

The first test flight-Artemis One-is currently scheduled for March and will involve an unmanned flyby of the Moon in Orion.

Fully stacked SLS rocketAt 322 feet (98.1 meters) tall, it will generate approximately 8.8 million pounds of thrust when launched-13% more than the space shuttle and 15% more than the Saturn V rocket.

Both the rocket and the spacecraft have undergone extensive testing, but have not yet flown. If the Artemis I mission goes well, Artemis II will conduct a manned moon landing, and Artemis III will attempt a manned moon landing for the first time since 1972.

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