Remember how you were little and wanted to be an astronaut? Although you may not have the same dream but many people went on to pursue their careers as an astronaut and are proud of it. The job may not be for everyone, especially if you are one to get queasy at times and do not like the idea of being high in the sky. On the other hand for those who are crazy fans of outer space NASA is the place to be, now not everyone can make it through but those who have, have given the National Aeronautics and Space Administration a proud name. NASA was setup in 1958 by the government and has been working to get through different missions that are directed at getting to know the outer space much better and to help seek out questions that many of us only think about. Many of us don’t know what is actually being cooked behind the doors of NASA however after research we have come to find out their latest or upcoming missions. These may have been put in order for quite some time now but are set to be put into action sometime in the near future, so here are the 10 Huge Upcoming NASA Missions You Won’t want to Miss.
10. Parker Solar Probe
This NASA mission all ready to be launched in 2018 was first named Solar Probe Plus; however it got renamed after the astrophysicist Eugene Parker. His work which formed the basis of a whole new branch known as “solar wind” has inspired many to further ask questions and do research. This mission is aimed at going up close and personal and visiting the sun in order to understand its puzzling properties much better. Although the probe is set to be launched in 2018 it will land in 2025. This probe is claimed to fly at 692,000 kilometers per hour which the fastest probe yet. One of the many questions that researchers intend to find out is why the surface temperature of the sun (10,000 F) gets even hotter as one goes further up (3.5 million F in the corona) , whereas on the earth as one moves away from the earth the temperature gets cooler.
9. Europa Clipper
Everybody who has even the slightest interest in the outer space has ever so undoubtedly asked this question. Is there life outside of earth? And another question, can we live on other planets? Although Hollywood has played many movies surrounding this topic, in actuality it is this latest mission of NASA that will work on this question. The name Europa Clipper comes from the fact that one of Jupiter’s moons “Europa” has likely potential to be habituated by life or what little that they do know from way down in Earth. Now they want to get very close to this very cold and icy moon and collect as many information as they can to get down into the nitty gritty of whether this hypothesis can be proven true. One of the reasons is that underneath the very icy crust is salty water one of the three things that can make living possible along with chemical ingredients and energy resources.
Jupiter Icy moons Explorer is number 8 on our list and is very similar to the Europa Clipper however this mission is in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the main reason behind this collaborative efforts to look into the moons of Jupiter Europa, Callisto and Ganymede is that the ESA has some major numbers with tools that could help in assisting much more deeper and broader information in assisting the question of whether or not it is possible for life to continue on these moons. The journey will take about 7.5 years for the astronauts to get close to Jupiter and another 80 year journey back to the planet earth once they have finally collected enough data to further study upon.
7. Asteroid Redirect Mission
Also known as ARM this mission which is expected to be launched somewhere in 2020’s has the purpose of taking into account asteroids and studying it to further understand it. Asteroids are actually small planets or material that is floating in the solar system, which could have potential information that can help in understanding the next step in habituating Mars. The number of asteroids in the solar system is many. The mission therefore includes first taking into account the one that is nearest to the moon and then collecting as many samples as is possible and returning to earth to further probe and study these asteroids in detail.
6. Orion Spacecraft
The Orion spacecraft can be seen as hitting two birds with one stone. First it will help with the above mentioned Asteroid Redirect Mission in targeting asteroids to bring back to the earth and have a closer look at it. The other mission that is probably why it has been built is to go further beyond what normal spacecrafts can accomplish. This specific space craft has been built keeping in mind the harsh environment and unsettling temperatures of the outer space. The spacecraft will be placed on top of the rocket SLS (Space Launch System) and will be aimed at launching the Orion way beyond the Earth belt and deep past the moon, this has not been done before.
5. Mars 2020 Rover
NASA’s Mars Exploration Program has long been on the agenda and the scientists at NASA are looking into different ways in order to gather more information on this seemingly habitual planet. The Mars 2020 Rover which is expected to launch in 2020 is prioritized to not only swab information about the air and liquid that is up there but also with the intention that has there been any previous life that could have possibly lived there? The Rover is basically a robot that was designed specifically for this purpose. It includes a body, brain, arms, hands, legs, eyes and ears. It has essential features to keep it from being damaged in the environment of Mars including an internal heater to keep it safe from the harsh climate.
Joint force collaboration between European Space Agency and NASA with NASA helping in not only the instrument part but also research and data analysis. Euclid is actually based on examining another part of the outer space. This includes information about dark energy and dark matter both which are part of the cosmos. What is important to know is that mostly everything that we know about including earth only makes up about 5 % of the universe, where as the rest 68 % is made up of dark energy and 27 % dark matter but that is the only thing scientists know the rest is just a mystery and that is why this mission is for the purpose of uncovering this mystery that makes up most of our universe.
The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope will help continue the responsibility of its previous companion “Kepler” whose purpose was to keep a record of just how many expoplanets we have in this solar system of ours. This mission will also keep up the race and keep track of the number of planets but along with it, it will also contribute in the study of the dark matter, collecting as many samples as it can and helping to get a better understanding of what actually the universe is made of. This advanced technology telescope is set to be launched in 2020.
Multi Angle Imager for Aerosols or known as MAIA is one of NASA mission that is not so much linked with the outer space as it is with finding out about earth. The team that made this instrument which basically contains two cameras is well versed in the science of air quality, aerosol science, remote sensing, epidemiology and public health. The main course of action that it is made to take is to take a look at the area just above the earth and capture as many samples of different shapes and sizes to determine what kind of pollutants we have in the air and then to further see if any of those pollutants have a correlation with human health problems like cardiovascular health.
Many of the missions that NASA has set its mind on including Psyche are initiated in the nearby future, this one in 2020. The purpose of this mission which is led by the Arizona State University is to gather data on the asteroid Psyche which lingers between the planets Mars and Jupiter. What is unique about this asteroid is the way it is built made of iron and nickel, which is quite different from other asteroids. One of the reasons this could be important is that it may be able to provide insight into the origin of the solar system and its beginnings.