Ever wondered about what NASA was cooking up in their lab? It seems that as never before, space exploration is increasing at an incredible rate, as mankind will see space missions which will bring discoveries that are very likely going to change the way we look at our solar system, planet, and the entire universe. From the first manned missions to mars, to the creation of a space nation, the next couple of decades have it all.
New reports suggest NASA has released a list of future space missions that are planned to continue up to 2036.
Here’s what is planned for 2017:
- Planetary Society’s Lightsail 2 to be launched in March, showing technology related to the solar sailing systems.
- Asgardia (private company) will launch their unmanned satellite and plans to commence research on creating a space-based nation.
- SpaceX plans to launch a Crew Dragon Vehicle (unmanned) into orbit in November.
- Russia will launch a Multipurpose Laboratory Module into space, which is set for the International Space Station; the mission is scheduled for December.
- Again, in December, NASA will launch a Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite to search for far away planets.
- In the same month, a Characterising Exoplanets Satellite will be launched into space.
- And finally, China’s Change 5, along with Google’s Lunar XPRIZE, Space IL and Moon Express are set to go to the Moon; only Change 5 will bring back samples from the Moon.
1. The European Space Agency will launch BepiColombo in April, and will be Europe’s primary mission to the planet Mercury.
2. In May, NASA plans to launch the InSight probe to Mars, allowing scientists to study the internal structure of the planet.
3. Also in May, SpaceX will launch its unmanned mission to Mars.
4. In July, NASA intends to commence its Solar Probe Plus mission that will allow scientists to observe the Sun from its upper atmosphere.
5. In October, NASA will finally launch its James Webb Space Telescope. This will replace the Hubble Space Telescope.
6. Again, in October, the European Space Agency plans to launch the Solar Orbiter, aiding scientists in the study of the Sun’s poles, solar winds and its heliosphere.
1. The Sierra Nevada Corporation intends to launch a space aircraft known as the Dream Chaser. The aircraft was designed to supply unpressurized and pressurized cargo to the International Space Station. The launch is scheduled for October.
2. It is also possible that Virgin Galactic may start sending its customers into space.
1. In July 2020, NASA will send its rover to the red planet, thus naming the mission Mars 2020. The mission is designed to investigate Mars’ past.
2. Also scheduled for July is Europe’s Exmoor, a mission that will allow scientists to also search for past and present life on Mars.
3. July will also see the launch of the United Arab Emirates’ Mars orbiter, known as Hope.
4. Between July and August China plans to launch its first mission to Mars to also examine the planet.
5. NASA, along with ESA might launch the Asteroid Impact Mission. This will provide information on the possibility of changing an asteroid’s course if a spacecraft hits it.
1. In October, NASA plans to send the Lucy spacecraft to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.
1. The European Space Agency intends to launch a spacecraft to study Jupiter’s moons. The craft is expected to enter Jupiter’s orbit around 2033.
2. China plans to launch its first module, the Tiangong-3, for the International Space Station.
3. The year 2022 will also witness NASA’s launch of Europa’s multiple flyby missions that will allow the experts to examine the heavenly body up close.
4. In 2022, Japan intends to launch a mission to Phobos, one of Mars’ moons.
5. Since its announcement in 2012, Mars One has proposed to send a fully manned spacecraft to Mars somewhere between 2022 and 2032.
1. October is going to see NASA’s launch of the Psyche mission, which is designed to study a resourceful asteroid named Psyche. However, the spacecraft won’t reach the asteroid for seven years.
1. SpaceX may launch their first manned mission to Mars, the starts of the Interplanetary Transport System.
2. The European Space Agency will set a return mission to Phobos, one of the moons that orbits Mars.
3. This year (can vary) will see the closing of the International Space Station, which will later be de-orbited.
4. The European Space Agency plans to launch a satellite with a mission to search for planets beyond our own. It will specifically look for planets that are similar to Earth and for those that have their own Sun, thus naming the mission Planetary Transits & Oscillations of Stars.
1. NASA plans to set a mission to Earth from Mars, bringing back material from Mars.
2. NASA will also launch a telescope that will allow scientists to study dark energy and also look for planets similar to Earth.
1. NASA has marked 2026 as the year to launch its Asteroid Redirect Mission. This mission will see astronauts approach an asteroid in a lunar orbit.
1. The European Space Agency has stated that around the year 2028 they will launch a telescope that will outline the hot gases in space, and to also study giant black holes.
1. NASA has also said they might send people to orbit around Mars, and they might also land on the moons of the red planet; though they are planning a manned mission to land on Mars around 2030.
2. China and Russia have also announced the possibility of sending people to the Moon in the 2030’s.
3. Russia’s space program also stated a spacecraft may be launched to touch the surface of Mercury.
The year 2036 might witness a spacecraft leaving for the nearest star called Proxima Centauri by a private organization called Breakthrough Initiatives.
Featured image credit, Google Image – Rendering of an Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) launch vehicle departing Launchpad 39A, with an ITS tanker standing by (at left) for a rapid launch after the ITS booster returns to the launch site