NASA has multiplied the achievements this year. Thus, on the occasion of a retrospective video published on December 23, the US space agency returned to the main moments of its year 2022, whether in terms of observation or space exploration.
On July 11, for example, NASA released the first photograph taken with the new James-Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which has come to continue Hubble’s work thanks to more advanced technologies. His first shot was “the deepest, sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date,” NASA said at the time.
A first test of planetary security
One of James-Webb’s main goals is to observe the first stars and galaxies born shortly after the Big Bang. It also has the role of learning more about exoplanets.
2022 was also the year of the first planetary defense test. On October 11, the DART mission (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) succeeded in redirecting the orbit of the asteroid Dimorphos, located eleven million kilometers from Earth, by crashing a probe. “For the first time, humans have altered the motion of a celestial object,” NASA announced at the time.
To the Moon and Mars
Finally, the year 2022 was the beginning of the Artemis program, which aims to return man to the Moon in 2025, before considering a possible mission to Mars. The first step, the Artemis I mission was successfully launched on 16 November. It made it possible to test the giant Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and to place the Orion capsule into lunar orbit, which then returned to Earth on 11 December.
While waiting for Artemis II, which should put a crew in orbit around the Moon in 2024, space missions will thus continue to follow each other in 2023, such as Psyche from NASA’s Discovery program, JUICE, from the European Space Agency or again Polaris Dawn, by SpaceX. SpaceX’s Starship rocket was finally set to be inaugurated, as was the Ariane 6 rocket.