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This year’s space missions are out of this world

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021

Like Mt. Everest in May, space is starting to get way more crowded than you might think. And since Hamilton proudly serves the aerospace industry, you can be sure we’ll be watching these missions either launching or reaching their destinations in 2021. Here’s a rundown of five explorations that have blast-off.

Multiple Mars missions

Three different missions from three different nations launched to the Red Planet in July 2020 and are set to land this month. Once there, they’ll do everything from study the atmosphere and climate to survey the analyze the soil and serve for signs of life.

NASA’s Artemis 1 mission

NASA plans to land humans on the moon in 2024, and their flagship Artemis program will help them do so by sending a series of complicated missions to the Moon’s surface. The unmanned Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight of NASA’s Orion MPCV and Space Launch System heavy lift rocket, expected to launch in November.

China’s first space station module

China plans to launch the initial parts of its massive space station, Tianhe, as part of several quick-fire missions (some of them manned) to complete the space station by 2022.

James Webb Space Telescope Launch

Considered the successor to Hubble, NASA’S James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the “largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space” that will “fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe.” More sensitive than Hubble, it will be able to watch the formation of some of the first galaxies.

Russia’s Luna-25 Mission

It’s been 45 years since Russia sent hardware into space, but this October it’s Luna-25 lander will head to the Moon’s south pole (also the area that NASA is targeting for its 2024 crewed mission) to study the exosphere—it’s outermost region.

Boeing Starliner

Right now, SpaceX is the only commercial organization certified to take astronauts to the International Space Station. That all may change if Boeing second, unmanned orbital flight test succeeds on March 29 to do the same. If this flight test passes, Boeing plans to follow up by sending three astronauts to the International Space Station no earlier than June 2021.

Here’s to a new dawn of discovery.

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