This has been a busy year for NASA, with a strong roster of historic missions and inspiring milestones that continue to push the boundaries of human exploration.
The US space agency has shared a new video showing its accomplishments in 2023, from the successful return of the first asteroid sample to plans to create a new thermonuclear rocket engine aimed at future manned missions to Mars.
Hey Space.com website He also points out that NASA is also highlighting in the video the progress of the Artemis program, its ambitious initiative that aims to return humans to the moon, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson says in the video: “NASA is doing big things.” Things that inspire us. The things that unite us. Things that show that nothing is beyond our reach.
Watch the video below:
This year, the International Space Station (ISS) celebrated its 25th year in orbit, along with NASA astronaut Frank Rubio's new record for the longest American spaceflight. Rubio spent 371 consecutive days at the orbiting laboratory.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope also celebrated its first science year by releasing an unprecedented image of star formation in the complex Rho Ophiuchi cloud adjacent to Earth.
OSIRIS-REx mission and asteroid studies
- On September 24, the OSIRIS-REx mission returned an intact sample of material from the surface of asteroid Bennu to Earth, ending its seven-year mission;
- The probe, now known as OSIRIS-APEX, is headed toward another asteroid called Apophis, though this time it won't collect physical samples;
- The OSIRIS-REx mission represents the first U.S. mission to return a sample collected from an asteroid, providing new insights into the formation of our solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago;
- NASA is preparing for another asteroid mission with the launch of the Psyche mission on October 13, 2024;
- The target of this mission is a metal-rich asteroid called 16 Psyche, which orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter;
- Its high metal content suggests that the asteroid could be a partial nucleus of a minor planet — the building block of a primordial planet — which would provide new information about the planet's formation.
Artemis and the plans
The space agency also announced the four astronauts scheduled to fly aboard Artemis II — the first crewed mission in NASA's program to establish a long-term presence on the Moon — as well as a partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a nuclear rocket engine. thermal energy by 2027, which will enable long-distance space travel in preparation for manned missions to Mars.
The prototype spacesuit developed by Axiom Space for NASA's Artemis III mission, which will take astronauts, including the first woman, to the moon by 2025, was also presented this year.
Nelson said in the video: “We will return to the moon to live, work, develop and innovate. Let's go to Mars.” “That's the power of our space program: It brings people together. It brings them together. Together we will go to the moon, Mars and beyond.
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