Cool Future Space Missions To look Forward Too
Founded by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic is a spaceflight company that aims to take private space tourist on sub-orbital spaceflights for a mere $250,000 USD! The flights would be aboard their fleet of SpaceShipTwo aircraft which are scheduled to begin in 2018 or 2019!
Blue Origin is an American aerospace and space tourism company which is planning to launch paying customers into space aboard their reusable New Shepard launch vehicle in 2019. The flights would last about 10 minutes, reaching a height of over 330,000 ft before making a soft landing by parachute.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space telescope that will orbit the Earth–Sun L2 Lagrangian point and will offer unprecedented images of the oldest light from the early Universe from the long-wavelength (orange to red) visible light through the mid-infrared range. The JWST is due to launch in early 2019 aboard an Ariane 5.
The Dream Chaser Cargo System is currently under development with the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) to transfer cargo to and from low-Earth orbit for NASA. The Dream Chaser spaceplane can carry up to 5,500 kgs to the International Space Station (ISS) and is due to launch in 2020!
The Mars 2020 Rover Mission is planned to investigate in an area of Mars that is believed to have been habitable in the past and will search for the signs of past, or present, microbial life on Mars. It is the latest in NASA's Mars Exploration Program with a planned lift-off during the Mars 2020 launch window.
Lucy is a planned NASA mission to fly-by 5 Jupiter Trojan asteroids, along with a main Asteroid belt object, and is set to launch in 2021 and last 12 years. This will be a really cool mission that I’ll definitely be following as it’ll be the first time a spacecraft has visited a Jupiter Trojan!
The private SpaceX mission around the Moon planned for 2023 for the eccentric Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and 6-8 artists, will be the first private trip beyond low Earth orbit and likely the first to the Moon in over 50 years! The mission intends to help pay for the development of SpaceX’s futuristic BFR spaceship.
The NASA Psyche mission, run by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in conjunction with Arizona State University, is a voyage to study a one of a kind metal asteroid orbiting in the main Asteroid belt called ’16 Psyche’. The Psyche mission is planned to launch in 2022.
The NASA Europa Clipper mission plans to orbit Jupiter performing at least 45 flybys of the moon Europa, carrying out a detailed investigation to determine whether the icy moon contains a liquid ocean and whether it has a potentially habitable environment. Europa Clipper is due to launch in the mid-2020’s with a journey time of 3 to 6 years.
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) JUICE mission is an interplanetary spacecraft designed to visit and study the Jovian moon system. After reaching Jupiter the probe will flyby and study the icy moons Europa, Callisto and eventually orbit Ganymede. JUICE is set to launch in 2022 and arrive at Jupiter in 2030.
It sounds like science fiction, but NASA is sending a nuclear powered robotic quadcopter to fly over the dunes and craters of an alien moon! The spacecraft is called Dragonfly and will explore Saturn’s moon Titan, making multiple hops from location to location to study the conditions that are thought to mimic early Earth! It is expected to launch in 2026 and arrive 6 years later in 2034.