We would like to share our first Astro Newsletter via Space Camp Türkiye webpage. Activating a new space telescope, deorbiting an asteroid with a spacecraft and exploring a metal-rich asteroid; just some of the main missions that are expected to be completed in 2022...

1- James Webb Space Telescope

Since 2018, all space enthusiasts were waiting for the launch of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Lots of changes were happening with the telescope and unfortunately, all we heard was back to back delays. But finally, JWST launched into space last year. This space telescope has a primary mirror with an approximately 6.5 meter diameter, which would give it a significantly larger collecting area than the Hubble Space Telescope’s mirror. Hubble has a much smaller mirror with 2.4 meters in diameter and its corresponding collecting area is 4.5 m2, giving Webb around 6.25 times more space! We are looking forward to getting the first images from JWST in June 2022 as NASA declared!

2-Psyche Mission

Another amazing mission is coming from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) named Psyche.

It has been announced that the Psyche Mission will launch on August 1, 2022.

This mission will be a journey to one of the metal-rich asteroids called Psyche, which is currently orbiting within the asteroid belt. You may ask “Why this asteroid?”, well asteroid Psyche appears to be the nickel-iron core of an early planet. Which means it could have secrets about the early solar system that would allow us to understand previously unexplored building blocks of planet formations.

3-DART in Space!

Double Asteroid Redirection Test Mission -shortly DART- is a planetary defense technology test and in this mission, a spacecraft will clash with an asteroid in order to change its course. Thanks to this mission, we will have a chance to practice how to prevent a hazardous asteroid that could impact Earth. During this mission, the asteroid named Dimorphos will be used as the target. The DART spacecraft will smash into Dimorphos on September 26, 2022.

4-Three New Missions for Venus

Three new missions targeting planet Venus will be developed by NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) in 2022.

ESA’s EnVision will conduct some observations of Venus to understand its history.

On the other hand, NASA’s DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging), as an atmospheric entry probe, can provide the direct measurements of Venus’s atmosphere.

Also VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) will generate the global topography data of Venus. Humanity will make the most comprehensive study of Venus ever with these missions.

Davinci+ mission has been postponed to 2029, EnVision and VERITAS programs have been postponed to the 2030s.

5-Mission to Jupiter’s Icy Moons!

JUICE - Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer will be one of the large-class missions according to ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. The mission is planned to observe the gas giant Jupiter and its largest moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The scientists will be able to characterize the conditions on the Jovian icy satellites and they will look for habitable environments on the three ocean-bearing worlds, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto. 

6-New Wheels on Mars

2022 ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform are designed to understand if there ever was life on Mars. The mission is led collaboratively by ESA and Roscosmos. NASA also participates in the mission by providing critical elements to the premier astrobiology instrument on the rover. ExoMars rover and its surface platform are scheduled to launch anywhere between August and October, 2022.

7-Milestones and Decades on Mars!

It has been so long since the first rover on Mars. Sojourner and its mothership Pathfinder had landed 25 years ago, on July 4, 1997. This means, as humanity, we have been collecting data with wheels on Mars since 1997 and with existing and new missions, we shall continue to do so. Also, Curiosity rover landed on Mars back in 2012. This means we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of that amazing landing. Besides Pathfinder and Sojourner, Curiosity rover is still functional and continues to collect data for humanity.

8-Touching the Sun Again, This Time Much Closer

Last year, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe had flown through the Sun’s corona and gained information about the magnetic field of the Sun and sampled the particles. Parker's closest encounter with Sun occurred on February 25, 2022. You might have been concerned about the spacecraft, but there is no need to be concerned. Because, even during the closest encounter, as Parker Solar Probe’s heat shield temperature reaches 1377 Celsius degrees, the instruments inside will stay as cool as they are in room temperature.

9-Private Companies on the Moon

The last human existence on the moon was in 1972 with 2 Apollo astronauts. In the future, with the Artemis Program, humanity will go there again, only this time for a permanent settlement. NASA started a huge campaign and invited several private sector companies to build all types of structures on the Moon. In 2022, as a part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), two companies; Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines have scheduled launches and they will deliver scientific payloads to the Moon.

10-Optical Communication

If you have already participated in our distance learning programs FEP and PSSP, we are quite sure that you will remember the optical communication tech from our Living and Working in Space project topic. This year, with the Psyche mission, Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) systems will also launch. Thanks to these systems, we will have faster communication and will be able to send and receive larger amount of data via higher data rates.

All those things are expected to be done just in a year. So imagine a decade. What do you think awaits humanity in the field of space science in the next 10 years?


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