Outer space has long been a source of wonder and mystery for humans. Now it is our last frontier that is left to explore and discover. The year 2021 saw some famous space headlines in the form of billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson taking space flights as space tourists. 2022 will build on the innovations and momentum of space travel that we saw in 2021.
Reusable rockets have been all the rage lately. They are seen as a way to dramatically cut the cost of space travel and space launches. Aerospace company SpaceX plans to launch the first reusable rocket that can complete an orbital flight at the beginning of 2022. Another aerospace company called Blue Origin is building and testing a rocket that it claims can be launched up to 25 times. Reusable rockets will play a pivotal role in space launches and travel in 2022 and beyond.
Travel to the moon is set to make a comeback in 2022. While there is more of a focus on space tourism and travel to planets such as Mars, the moon is still a major destination, but for different reasons. Several countries, such as Russia, Japan, and India, plan to deliver robots to explore the moon’s surface in 2022. The focus of moon travel in 2022 is to test new equipment and technology that can make future space travel beyond the moon more feasible.
The bulk of commercial space launch activity involves satellite launches. These machines are vital for the technology we use almost daily, such as GPS systems, and weather forecasting models. Several upstart companies are also planning to make satellite launches less expensive so that more and more businesses can launch their own satellites for commercial use. One of the emerging trends in satellite launches relates to their ability to monitor and track carbon dioxide emissions emissions, potentially playing a role in decarbonization efforts.
Space Debris Cleanup
There is a lot of junk orbiting around Earth from past space missions. This space debris actually poses a hazard that can threaten future spacecraft and satellite launches. Scientists and engineers are coming up with potential solutions to clean up the space debris around Earth. Potential solutions include spaceships that will use magnets to push debris into Earth’s atmosphere, where they will burn up. Another proposal is to use nets for fishing out the space debris.