Space conquest: the calendar of launches and missions SpaceX, NASA, ESA… – this month

We continue this very successful year 2022 for the conquest of space with a busy month of August. We will indeed see a lot of launches including (if all goes well) the start of NASA’s Artemis I mission, the first stage of the American agency’s return to the Moon project. But August 4 will also be one of the richest launch days in history. Moreover, Korea will also begin its first lunar exploration mission. In short, a nice program this month.

Note that we will update this article each month by adding the following month’s launches and news, but the news from previous months remains accessible. And if you think we missed something or if there’s a mission you’d really like to see on this list, let us know in the comments.

August 29 – NASA will launch Artemis I

This Orion spacecraft will fly on NASA’s Artemis I mission, uncrewed. Credit: NASA/Marvin Smith

The next big step in NASA’s lunar dreams and August 2022 main event is Artemis I, an uncrewed flight that aims to test the entry, descent and landing of a module carrying mannequins in preparation of Artemis II, which will have a full crew on board. Artemis I’s Orion spacecraft will also perform a few tech demonstrations, including one involving Amazon Alexa.

Initially, the agency had scheduled a liftoff date between late May and early June, and placed the Space Launch System rocket and Orion craft on the launch pad on March 17 for pre-launch testing. During what is known as the dress rehearsal phase, the Artemis team encountered several unexpected obstacles, ranging from faulty valves to actual lightning bolts.

Recently, NASA gave a new date: August 29, but it is possible that the launch will again be postponed to September 2 or 5 according to the agency.

August 4 – South Korea’s first lunar mission

South Korea’s Pathfinder lunar orbiter. Credit: KARI

The space race of the 21st century has a new challenger: South Korea. The Korea Pathfinder lunar orbiter launched Aug. 4 from Kennedy Space Center aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The country’s first lunar exploration mission, this orbiter will test various technologies, such as a “space internet”. He will also try to transmit BTS’ Dynamite track to Earth. But the main objective is to image the surface of the Moon and identify potential landing sites for future missions.

August 4 – Blue Origin sends new tourists to space

Also this Thursday, August 4, a New Shepard rocket took off from the launch base of Blue Origin, the company of Jeff Bezos, in West Texas. This is a tourist flight that will send the first Portuguese and Egyptian astronauts in history into space. But the big star of the trip is Coby Cotton, youtuber behind the channel Dude Perfect.

Finally, in another register, the United States also launched this Thursday, August 4, a spy satellite from New Zealand and an SBIRS satellite (for space-based infrared system) from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the objective of which is to detect possible missiles early. Last launch, surprise this one, China is also supposed to launch a spacecraft this Thursday, which makes August 4, 2022 one of, if not THE busiest day in the history of the conquest spatial.

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