While our planet is still trying to recover from COVID19, the space industry on the other hand has seen remarkable events that may shape the future of space exploration for decades to come. From the launching of the long-awaited space telescope to sending ordinary civilians into orbit, we had a feast of exciting events gracing us this year.
We begin a new era of understanding our star even better with the Parker Solar Probe. For the first time in human history, we have managed to “touch” the Sun — a remarkable feat that will mark the start of the evolution of solar research. The probe grazed the corona of the star, on its eighth flyby. Scientists will be able to gain deeper insights on our Sun’s activities and its impacts on the orbiting planets. With more flybys to come, we can expect more updates on this mission to give us an unparalleled view of our star.
Space tourism used to be a far-fetched dream but not anymore. On September 15, 2021, for the first time ever, SpaceX Falcon9 rocket carried the Inspiration4 crew of ordinary civilians on a space mission into orbit. This tour, without a doubt, ushers in the new age of space tourism where outer space exploration is not just exclusive to researchers but to the ordinary public as well. The world also saw billionaires, such as Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, launching themselves into orbit.
After numerous obstacles and lots of anticipation, the long-awaited launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) finally happened on the Christmas morning of December 25, 2021. The largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever to be deployed into space took off after almost three decades to observe the mind-blowing phenomena occurring in space. The incredible engineering of JWST will allow us to gaze past gas and dust into distant celestial objects by focusing on infrared light, and capture the birth of our universe as we know it. As for now, we await the telescope’s arrival at its orbit, Lagrange Point 2, and another 6 months wait before the first images are released.
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