Outer space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

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Deep space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

Focus has compiled the top 5 space missions that should be a turning point in the history of space exploration.

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The past year 2022 was rich in major events in the field of space exploration, ranging from the launch of the James Webb telescope, the construction of the Chinese space station and the launch of the NASA Artemis 1 lunar mission.

But 2023 is not going to be inferior in the number of iconic space events. Here are the top 5 most exciting missions coming up this year.

Top 5 space missions. Icy moons of Jupiter

Deep space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

Deep space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to launch the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) mission in April. This will be the first European space mission to study Jupiter. The device will reach its destination in July 2031. The main objective of the mission is to orbit Jupiter and fly around the largest icy satellites of the planet: Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

After the planned flybys, the device should enter the orbit of Ganymede, the largest satellite in the solar system. Thus, Juice will be the first spacecraft to orbit a moon of another planet.

The icy moons of Jupiter were chosen for the mission for a reason. Scientists suggest that oceans of liquid water are hidden under the ice. For example, Europa is considered one of the most likely habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system.

The Juice will carry ten scientific instruments, including a radar that will allow scientists to look under a thick layer of ice. This will be the first step in mapping and studying the subsurface oceans, paving the way for future missions involving submersibles.

Mission launch window is set between April 5 and April 25.

Top 5 space missions. Starship Launch

Deep space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

Deep space is getting closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

While SpaceX has not yet announced a final date for the Starship super-heavy test flight, it is expected that this will happen in the first half of 2023.

It is assumed that Starship will be the largest spacecraft that will deliver people from Earth to different destinations in space. The most powerful launch vehicle will be able to lift 100 metric tons of cargo into low Earth orbit.

Actually, Starship is a two-component system that consists of a Starship spacecraft, as well as a powerful Super Heavy rocket. It lifts the ship to an altitude of about 65 km, and after that it separates from the ship and returns to Earth as part of a controlled landing.

In order to continue the journey, the spacecraft will use its own engines.

So far, there have been several short test flights of part of the Starship system. In the same year, a test flight of the entire system is to take place, which, as a whole, will go into space. Initially, such a test flight was planned in September 2022, but it has already been postponed several times.

Top 5 space missions. “Dear Moon”

Deep space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

Deep space is getting closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

As part of the DearMoon project, members of the public are planning to fly to the moon. They will embark on a six-day trip around the moon and back. The planned flight will depend on the success of Starship, because it will be the space tourists who will fly on this ship.

The mission will be the first tourist flight into deep space.

Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maesawa paid for the upcoming flight and chose eight people who would have to fly with him to the moon. The Japanese held a contest and chose his fellow travelers, but their names have not yet been disclosed.

The mission will be a watershed in history as only professional astronauts can now go into deep space. A six-day trip comes with extreme risks to both human health and technology.

Success or failure of the DearMoon mission is sure to have an impact on the future of space tourism, which can become a habit or a pipe dream.

Top 5 space missions. Return of OSIRIS-REx

Deep space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

Deep space is getting closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

As part of the OSIRIS-REx mission, a spacecraft was launched to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, which should return to Earth in 2023. NASA launched this robotic mission to collect samples of the rock that makes up the asteroid Bennu and deliver the resulting material back to Earth.

The main part of the sample collection mission was successful and now the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is on its way home with kilogram of rock on board. Next, the capsule with the material must separate from the spacecraft and enter the Earth's atmosphere. Landing in the Utah desert is due by parachute on September 24.

Bennu is not a very large asteroid, only half a kilometer in size, but it has some very interesting characteristics. Scientists believe that Bennu broke off from a larger asteroid in the first 10 million years of the solar system. Some of the minerals on Bennu have been altered by water, which means that the parent asteroid Bennu had liquid water.

Bennu also has precious metals, including gold and platinum. Also, the asteroid is classified as a potentially dangerous object, which with a small probability may collide with the Earth in the next century.

Top-5 space missions. Indian Private Space Launch

Deep space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

Deep space will get closer. The five most ambitious space missions in 2023

SpaceX is obviously the most famous private space launch company, but there are others besides it. Skyroot Aerospace of India already launched its Vikram-S rocket in November 2022 and is now gearing up to be the first private Indian company to launch a satellite.

During the test launch, the rocket reached an altitude of 90 km, the distance required increase to put a constellation of satellites into orbit.

The launch of the first Skyroot satellite is due in 2023, which will reduce the cost of private space launches. Also, Skyroot launches will be carried out on rockets printed on a 3D printer in a matter of days, which will also significantly reduce the cost of launches.

If this technology is successful, then it will open the door to a number of cheaper launches of scientific missions, which will significantly accelerate the pace of research.