• Grahaa Space

10 exciting space missions to look out for in the next decade

Covid has impacted the space industry in a considerable way. Almost all the nations have taken a step back to review and reconsider the planned missions. The critical missions are still on but some of the non-critical missions have been withheld or delayed owing to reduction in funds by their respective governments.

But still, journey to the space never ends. In this article let us look at 10 exciting future space missions coming up in the near future.

[1] Artemis Moon mission

Source : NASA

We all know about the Artemis moon mission. NASA has planned to put the first woman and the next man to moon through this mission. The official schedule is to land astronauts on the moon by 2024. By collaborating with the commercial and international partners, the space agency aims to do a sustainable exploration around the moon. The data collected and the analysis done through this sustainable exploration will in turn be used to explore Mars experimentally. As per official reports, NASA also plans to send a suite of science instruments beginning 2021 for exploring sustainability on the surface of the moon.

[2] Chandrayaan 3

Source : ISRO

ISRO’s Chandrayaan 3 was initially planned to be launched in fall 2020 but due to COVID-19 pandemic it has been postponed to 2021. Unlike its predecessor, Chandrayaan 2 which contained an orbiter, Chandrayaan 3 will contain a rover and a lander. It is also confirmed that despite the setback, the orbiter is in working condition and is able to transmit data back to earth.

[3] ExoMars mission

European space agency’s ExoMars mission is a program that is set to deliver a European rover and a Russian surface platform at the surface of Mars. The main aim of this rover is to search for signs of life with the help of next-generation instruments by collecting and analysing the samples. The rover will find potential organic material present in the Martian surface and will analyse the physical and chemical properties. Communication is done with the help of the ExoMars Trace Gas orbiter which was a part of 2016 ExoMars mission. The Rover is controlled at the Rover Operations Control Centre. The ExoMars mission is scheduled to be launched in the year 2022.

[4] OSIRIS-REx mission

OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) is a mission envisioned to collect and bring a 59.5 grams sample of an asteroid named 101955 Bennu. With the help of this mission, we would be able to gather more data on how the solar system was formed and how life was formed. It would also help us to understand about asteroids and how it could affect us. This mission was launched on September 8, 2016 and it is expected to return to earth by 2023 with the sample of the asteroid. As of today, OSIRIS-REx is expected to collect its first sample by October 2020.

[5] James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is an orbiting infrared observatory which is planned to replace the Hubble space telescope. It is believed to be 100 times more powerful than the Hubble telescope with improved sensitivity and longer wavelength coverage. With the longer wavelength of JWST, it is possible to look into the beginning of the time. Originally scheduled to be launched by March 2021, it got postponed to October 2021.

[6] Laser Interferometer Space Antenna

The European space agency’s Laser interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a mission to detect and accurately measure the gravitational waves. The Primary goal of LISA is to observe low frequency gravitational waves (0.1mHz to 0.1 Hz) and to study the various sources of gravitational waves across the cosmos. It is also going to be the first space-based gravitational wave observatory. It is expected to launch by the year 2034 and can last up to 4-6 years.

[7] SpaceX Starship

Starship is a space vehicle developed to carry more than 100 metric tons to the Earth’s orbit. It is designed in such a way that it could carry both the crew and the cargo not only to Earth orbit but also to the Moon and Mars in future. It is a fully reusable transportation system and it is also the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed. It has been under development since 2012.

[8] Thirty Meter Telescope

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is a new range telescope which enables the user to see deeper into space and observe cosmic objects with unprecedented sensitivity of 30m prime mirror diameter. It is said that TMT is 12 times sharper than Hubble telescope. The Construction of TMT started in July 2019.

[9] Lunar Gateway

Lunar Gateway is a space station planned by NASA in lunar orbit which is intended to serve as the solar powered communication hub and holding area for rovers and other robots. It is scheduled to be launched in 2024.

[10] DragonFly

DragonFly is a NASA initiated mission to Titan. DragonFly will launch a rotorcraft that will fly around Titan looking for a prebiotic chemical process which is common to both Titan and Earth. It is also the first multi-rotor vehicle that will fly on another planet. Titan is an analog to early Earth. With the help of this mission we can also get to know how life is formed in our solar system. The scheduled launch of DragonFly would be in the year 2026.

As mentioned earlier, there are loads of other missions that are currently under planning stage. The next 10 to 20 years are going to witness a huge number of space missions and innovations from all countries.

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