Space exploration and milestones were the highlights of 2022, with many of NASA and ESA’s long-standing missions coming to light. This year we saw many awe-inspiring discoveries about our universe, deepening our understanding and curiosity about what else lies out there. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most significant moments in space exploration in 2022.
The successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope by NASA was a landmark event in the history of space exploration. The super-powerful telescope has managed to get clear, beautiful images of distant galaxies and black holes, answering questions that scientists have been asking for years.
NASA successfully sent the first Artemis spacecraft into space in an effort to make long-term human exploration of the Moon and Mars a reality very soon. The decades-long project finally bore fruit in November with the launch of Artemis I.
Another achievement by NASA saw humanity defending the Earth in outer space this year. The ‘suicide spacecraft’ called Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) was sent into space in a specific trajectory that collided with an enormous asteroid called Dimorphos, flying close to Earth. The collision altered the course of the asteroid, thus protecting us from danger.
This year, not only did we discover the shape of a black hole but how it sounds as well! NASA released an audio clip of an eerie sound coming from a supermassive black hole in the middle of galaxy cluster Perseus, which is about 250 million light-years away.
SpaceX launched the first-ever private moon rover from Japan, making it the country’s first privately-led space mission. The launch was carried out in collaboration with ispace, a Japanese company that helped build the rover.
The TikTok craze reached outer space this year as ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti created and shared TikTok videos of her aboard the SpaceX Crew-4 launch. The astronaut made videos of her working inside the spaceship, doing yoga, and even showing off her stuffed toys!
We knew very little about Saturn and its moons. But that has changed this year, when we discovered the signs of massive ocean underneath the icy surface of its moon, Mimas, indicating a strong possibility of life there.
What was your favourite space moment of this year? Let us know in the comments below.
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