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Thread: Space exploration missions in 2021

  1. #1
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    Space exploration missions in 2021

    All the USA space exploration missions to look forward to in 2021.

    https://www.salon.com/2020/12/29/all...rd-to-in-2021/

    Most of us will remember 2020 primarily as the year of the great pandemic, but let's not forget how space exploration and astronomy had good years considering the circumstances. NASA astronauts blasted into space in May as part of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule. New research revealed there might be more water on the moon than previously believed. Scientists debated whether or not Venus is harboring life in its clouds after discovering phosphine. Betelgeuse continued to dim, raising suspicions that it might soon go nova. Researchers noticed an excitingly odd series of radio signals.

    While 2021 won't magically reset our reality, there is a lot to look forward to next year, especially in the realm of space news. Even if you aren't a space enthusiast, it's amazing what experiencing a little wonder and awe can do for your mindset. It helps put into perspective our place in the world and reminds us that we are part of something bigger; learning about our universe is a great way to tap into that. If you're feeling like there's nothing to look forward to next year, consider adding one of these missions to your list.
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    Wow according to Forbes list, 2021 will be an exciting year for space exploration.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonatha...h=55e55d68775e

    Despite the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been a surprisingly busy year for space – and next year looks to be equally enthralling.

    In the last 12 months we’ve seen missions launch to Mars, SpaceX’s first (and second) human spaceflights for NASA, and sample return missions from asteroids and the Moon.

    In 2021 we’re expecting even more exciting missions to launch, including a much-delayed space telescope, while we’ll also likely see major continued developments in private spaceflight.
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    https://www.businessinsider.com/2021...0-12?r=US&IR=T

    From Business Insider Includes:
    - Launcher One’s first orbital launch. January.
    - Chandrayaan-3 rover to moon, by Indian space research organisation. Early 2021
    - Rocket Lab’s first launch from the US, Early 2021.
    - UAE Hope orbiter to reach Mars orbit. February.
    - China’s Tianjin-1 mission arrives at Mars. February.
    - NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars. February.
    - Parker Solar Probe flies past Venus. February and again in October.
    - OSIRIS-REx starts its 2 year journey home from Bennu. March.
    - Boeing tries to fly its Starliner spaceship to ISS again. Due March.
    - SpaceX launches its Crew-2 astronaut mission for NASA. Late March.
    - NASA launches Capstone mini-satellite to follow the moon. April.
    - Boeing launches first NASA astronauts. June or later.
    - NASA launches DART asteroid-bashing spacecraft to Didymos. Late July
    - Solar Orbiter zips round Venus. August.
    - Lucy the Trojan asteroid hunter launches. October.
    - NASA launches James Webb Space Telescope. Due 31 October.
    - Tom Cruise may launch to ISS (chartered SpaceX Crew Dragon). October.
    - NASA first Orion test flight. Due November.
    - Boeing first operational astronaut mission for NASA. Due December or later.
    - Japan launches a mini moon lander. Late 2021.
    - SpaceX flies its first Starship to orbit. Late 2021.
    - The world’s heftiest drone launches a rocket to orbit. Late 2021.
    - China begins constructing its own space station. Sometime in 2021.

    So a lot to look forward to...

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    The New York Times "Missions to Mars, the Moon and Beyond Await Earth in 2021"

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/04/s...-launches.html

    Here’s a preview of what to expect in space and astronomy in the year to come.
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    Now one that is a bit of rara for space exploration.

    "Space ambitions needed now more than ever"

    http://epaper.chinadaily.com.cn/a/20...23435308b.html

    One human endeavor that defied the challenges that 2020 threw at us was space exploration, and 2021 is set to be an equally exciting year in increasing our understanding of the final frontier.

    Space missions are years in the making and sometimes have narrow launch windows. Faced with the disruption of the pandemic that affected nearly every activity, the space sector forged ahead with a timetable of long planned projects.

    Last year, state agencies and private companies undertook more than 100 orbital rocket launches. These included no less than three launches to Mars, including China's July launch of Tianwen 1-a groundbreaking, combined orbiter, lander and rover mission.
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    The Guardian list of "The five: space missions for 2021"

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/...sions-for-2021

    After 2020, anyone would be forgiven for wanting to escape Earth, and Mars, the moon and the asteroid belt beckon
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    NASA has also selected four small astrophysics missions for study:
    - Pandora mission will study 20 stars and their 39 exoplanets in visible and infrared light
    - PUEO is a balloon flight, designed to be launched from Antarctica, that will detect signals from ultra-high-energy neutrinos
    - Aspera will study galaxy evolution by observing hot gas between galaxies at ultraviolet wavelengths
    - StarBurst will detect gamma rays from neutron star mergers, working in conjunction with gravitational wave observatories on the ground.

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    "James Webb, OneWeb highlight Arianespace’s 2021 launch schedule"

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/01/1...unch-schedule/

    The planned Halloween launch of the James Webb Space Telescope — one of eight Ariane 5 launches left before the rocket’s retirement — and a series of flights to build out OneWeb’s satellite internet network highlight Arianespace’s schedule this year.

    Arianespace says it has between 10 and 20 missions planned in 2021, with the final number hinging on the availability of satellites in the company’s backlog.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    https://www.businessinsider.com/2021...0-12?r=US&IR=T

    From Business Insider Includes:
    - Launcher One’s first orbital launch. January.
    - Chandrayaan-3 rover to moon, by Indian space research organisation. Early 2021
    - Rocket Lab’s first launch from the US, Early 2021.
    - UAE Hope orbiter to reach Mars orbit. February.
    - China’s Tianjin-1 mission arrives at Mars. February.
    - NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars. February.
    - Parker Solar Probe flies past Venus. February and again in October.
    - OSIRIS-REx starts its 2 year journey home from Bennu. March.
    - Boeing tries to fly its Starliner spaceship to ISS again. Due March.
    - SpaceX launches its Crew-2 astronaut mission for NASA. Late March.
    - NASA launches Capstone mini-satellite to follow the moon. April.
    - Boeing launches first NASA astronauts. June or later.
    - NASA launches DART asteroid-bashing spacecraft to Didymos. Late July
    - Solar Orbiter zips round Venus. August.
    - Lucy the Trojan asteroid hunter launches. October.
    - NASA launches James Webb Space Telescope. Due 31 October.
    - Tom Cruise may launch to ISS (chartered SpaceX Crew Dragon). October.
    - NASA first Orion test flight. Due November.
    - Boeing first operational astronaut mission for NASA. Due December or later.
    - Japan launches a mini moon lander. Late 2021.
    - SpaceX flies its first Starship to orbit. Late 2021.
    - The world’s heftiest drone launches a rocket to orbit. Late 2021.
    - China begins constructing its own space station. Sometime in 2021.

    So a lot to look forward to...
    Just thought I would give an update on those on the list for January and February 2021. Any corrections, further info or suggested additions to the list as key milestone events appreciated!

    Key Launch events 2021 (based on original list by Business Insider):

    Launcher One’s first orbital launch. January.
    - LAUNCHED 17th January 2021.

    - Chandrayaan-3 rover to moon, by Indian space research organisation. Early 2021.
    scroll.in reported target is March 2021.

    - Rocket Lab’s first launch from the US, Early 2021.
    Delayed from 2020 because of "problems with the flight termination system NASA requires the rocket to use". Rocket Lab just says launch date is "2021" on its website.

    - UAE Hope orbiter to reach Mars orbit. February.
    "Early' Feb 2021. Gulf news report it is expected to reach Mars first on 9th February.

    - China’s Tianjin-1 mission arrives at Mars. February.
    The spacecraft is due to enter Mars orbit on 10 February 2021, according to China's CCTV news network.

    - NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars. February.
    Landing attempt on 18th Feb at around 3.30pm ET

    - Parker Solar Probe flies past Venus. February and again in October.
    Timeline says 20th February 202 for the 4th flyby.

  10. #10
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    "What’s Ahead for China’s Space Program in 2021?"

    https://thediplomat.com/2021/01/what...ogram-in-2021/

    2021 promises to be an exciting year for China in space. On February 10, China’s independent Mars mission, the Tianwen 1, will attempt to enter Martian orbit. Once it succeeds in entering Martian orbit, Tianwen 1 will spend around two to three months surveying Mars for a suitable landing site. After landing, a rover will be released to study Mars’ surface. If China succeeds in entering Mars orbit, landing, and sending out a rover on its surface, it would have caught up with U.S. Mars capability in a single attempt.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks Selvaarchi.

    Interesting read.

    For 2021 the launch below could be even more important than the Tianwan-1.

    Another critical space mission for China in 2021 is the launch of its permanent space station. With decades of planning and launch experience with the temporary space labs, Tiangong 1 and 2, and human and cargo dockings, China has been incrementally planning for the 2021 Tiangong space station lift and construction. The successful launch of the Long March 5B rocket in mid-2020 has made it possible to meet deadlines of 2022 set for China’s permanent space station.
    There seem to be some widely varying views communicated on Cosmoquest about how advanced China's space potential actually is, especially in its private sector.

    While understanding the wider 'ideological framing' is not unimportant, it would also be useful to try and focus objectively on evidence of its actual capacity, and how this is likely to develop, given the resources likely to be made available in practice. I'm not sure articles like this really explore that in too much detail. It is important to keep the ideological framing in perspective.

    What, apart from the space station, are the key launches likely from China this year?

    Homing in on the major launches and separating them from what are becoming routine launches of satellites etc can help add value to the really informative list of launches by nation thread which you update. Thanks.
    Last edited by DavidLondon; 2021-Jan-24 at 12:29 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    Thanks Selvaarchi.
    What, apart from the space station, are the key launches likely from China this year?

    Thanks.
    I've just noticed in the separate Long March thread that you have already answered some of that... So thanks. Interesting

    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...h-Series/page6

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    "Long March rockets to support exciting phase of China’s space work in 2021"

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1214154.shtml

    Developers of the Long March rocket family have recently disclosed more exciting details of China's space endeavors in 2021, which is expected to see more than 40 launch missions including those tasked for the building of the country's first ever space station.
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    "2021: A space crossroads"

    https://thehill.com/opinion/technolo...ace-crossroads

    In 1968, the epic science fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey” was released. Produced and directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick, “2001” foresaw a future in which commercial airlines would regularly ferry passengers to and from orbital space stations as well as the Moon, and humanity would have the means to travel to the outer planets of our solar system. Sadly, this predicted future did not become a reality 33 years later, and not even today, 53 years later.

    But things may be about to change. By the end of the 2020s, many of the predictions of “2001: A Space Odyssey” could very well come to pass — and the current year of 2021 will play a critical role in achieving this vision. This year is already shaping up to be one of the most significant years yet in our exploration of space, and it is laying the groundwork for an extraordinary decade.
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    "What’s Next After Mars? The 8 Spectacular Space Missions In 2021 You’ve Not Heard Of Yet"

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamieca...h=17a98df15aa2

    Three space missions from the UAE, China and NASA have now arrived at Mars. “Hope,” “Tianwen” and “Perseverance” may have reached the Martian system and are now poised to explore it, but what happens next for space missions in 2021?

    Try this: NASA returning to the Moon’s surface, construction of a new Chinese space station, the first-ever mission to smash into an asteroid—and a nervy launch of humanity’s most expensive and important space telescope yet?
    I am because we are
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