Home Actualité internationale World News – AU – The world’s space achievements give hope and glory in a stressful 2020
Actualité internationale

World News – AU – The world’s space achievements give hope and glory in a stressful 2020

. . Although the pandemic complicated space operations, most high-priority missions remained on track, led by the US, China and the United Arab Emirates in a rush to Mars.

. .

Cape Canaveral: Astronauts, blown into orbit from the United States for the first time in nearly a decade, sent spaceships to Mars from three countries. and robot researchers snatched stones from the moon and gravel from an asteroid to return to Earth.

It promises to do the same in 2021, with landings on Mars in February and the planned launch of the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor next fall in the north – the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope.

Crowds on Cape Canaveral Beach, Florida watch the SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew Dragon launch on its Crew 1 mission with four astronauts on Sunday, May 15. November. Credit: AP

Boeing hopes to catch up with SpaceX in the astronaut launch department while space tourism can finally get going.

« 2021 promises to be an equally big ray of hope for space exploration, maybe even more, » said Scott Hubbard, former NASA « Mars Czar » who now teaches at Stanford University.

Although the 2020 coronavirus pandemic complicated space operations around the globe, most high-priority missions stayed on track, led by the US, China and the United Arab Emirates in a rush on Mars in July.

NASA astronauts from left, Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins, and astronaut Soichi Noguchi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Credit: AP

The UAE’s first interplanetary spaceship, an orbiter, will study the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Perseverance Rover is due to launch on Jan.. February end up in an old river delta and lakeshore where microscopic life once flourished. The rover drills into the dry crust and collects samples for later return to Earth.

China’s orbiter-rover duo Tianwen-1 – Search for Heavenly Truth – will also search for past life signs.

The European and Russian space agencies have skipped the launch window for Mars 2020. Your life-sniffing Mars rover has been discontinued until 2022 due to technical issues and COVID-19 restrictions.

China also has its sights set on the moon in 2020, landing and taking off from the lunar surface in December with the first moonstones collected for return to earth since the 1970s.

Japan brought back pieces of the asteroid Ryugu with the capsule landing in South Australia – its second batch of asteroids in a decade. More asteroid samples are on the way: NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft sucked a handful of gravel from the asteroid Bennu in October to return it in 2023.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX was in full swing in 2020. In May, it became the first private company to put people into orbit, an accomplishment previously only claimed by three global superpowers. The two test pilots were the first NASA astronauts to fly a new brand of spacecraft in nearly 40 years, and the first to fly out of Florida since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

In November, four more astronauts took a SpaceX Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. Three weeks later, SpaceX started its largest ever cargo shipment to the space station for NASA.

« This is an impressive accomplishment that Americans should be proud of, » said Senator Astronaut Mark Kelly of the kite pod’s double headed ball.

Before the SpaceX flights, Russia’s three-person Soyuz capsules were the only way to get astronauts to the space station once the NASA shuttles were shut down.

Boeing, the other crew transporter hired by NASA, is trying hard to get its Starliner capsule back into operation in December 2019 after a software-spoiled test flight. Do-over – again with no one on board – is planned for spring. If the repairs work and the capsule finally makes it to the space station, the first Starliner astronauts could fly by summer.

Musk crowned the year with a stratospheric test flight of Starship, the rocket ship he builds to take people to the moon and Mars. The demo from 9. December went better than expected until a fiery explosion when touching down. Still, Musk was thrilled.

At the same time, SpaceX is expanding its customer base in the area of ​​kite riding. At the end of next year, SpaceX expects to launch its first privately financed kite flight under a contract arranged by Axiom Space of Houston.

Michael Lopez-Alegria of Axiom, a former NASA astronaut and former President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, will accompany Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe and two other paying customers to the space station. Stibbe, a former fighter pilot, was a close friend of Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon, who died aboard the Columbia space shuttle in 2003.

Will Tom Cruise come to you? The actor was in talks with NASA about filming a movie on the space station earlier this year.

« This is the real start of private space travel and will get the ball rolling towards several private missions in orbit each year, » Lopez-Alegria said in an email. « I’ve been preaching for nearly a decade that commercial manned space travel is the next big leap. ”

Two other space companies – Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic – are still conducting test flights and have yet to set fixed dates for the launch of customers on short flights to the edge of space and back.

NASA is still aiming for a November debut of its new moon rocket, the Space Launch System, with an Orion capsule that will launch without a crew. The Trump administration had set a 2024 deadline for the first astronaut moon landing since NASA’s Apollo program half a century ago. Just this month, NASA unveiled the 18 astronauts who will be training for the lunar program named after Artemis, Apollo’s mythological twin sister.

« Whatever can be said about the four years of the Trump administration, they have been positive for the US civilian space program, » noted John Logsdon, professor emeritus at the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. “So far, no major programs have been canceled, the human research program has been clearly defined, and funding for existing programs has increased. ”

« This is a legacy that the Biden Administration can build on, so there can be a number of other achievements in the years to come. ”

NASA, Space

World News – AU – The world’s space successes give hope and glory in a stressful 2020

Ref: https://www.smh.com.au

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