NASA’s Plans in 2022

By  //  January 17, 2022

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2022 looks set to be a big year for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The fiscal year 2022, which begins on the 1st of October 2021, will contain more than a dozen science-focused missions, ranging from observing the Earth to exploring other worlds to investigating remote galaxies and galaxy clusters. This information was found in a synopsis of the agency’s 2021 budget estimates. 

The complete list of these science-focused missions can be found below. Many of the missions listed appear to have launch dates that aren’t in the fiscal year 2022. However, it’s expected that operations for each mission will start in earnest around that time. It excludes missions to the International Space Station, such as cargo deliveries and crewed flights that transport astronauts to the station.

NASA had a great year in 2021, with lots of big advancements. In a time when private space companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin are gaining a lot of headlines for their innovations in space flight, NASA is still putting in the work each year.

NASA’s work over the years has led to a wide range of technological developments, including freeze-dried food, firefighting equipment, memory foam, handheld vacuum cleaners, and much more. 

NASA even created the first precursor to the internet, known as the NASA Science Network. This gave scientists a way to access and share data anywhere in the world.

Today the internet is used by nearly everyone for a huge number of purposes, including entertainment such as online sports betting sites which have seen exponential growth with the vast options of sports to wager on safe operators recommended by experts. Scientists will no longer miss a chance to place bets and win wtih their favourite sports team. 

Joint Polar Satellite System 2

According to NASA’s website, the mission’s purpose is to enhance the accuracy, cost, and timeliness of climate and weather-related public alerts. As the name suggests, this will be a multi-agency polar-orbiting mission undertaken with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Polar missions benefit from the ability to conduct global monitoring from a vantage point that allows them to see the entire Earth below them as it revolves. The mission is scheduled to launch in March 2022, according to NASA’s website. The NASA-supported Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite-Limb (OMPS-L) instrument will examine the ozone layer and give UV index projections as part of the mission.

Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator

NASA wants to launch a heat shield known as a cross-cutting aeroshell into space to test how it functions during re-entry of the Earth’s atmosphere, according to the agency. NASA is attempting to prepare how it would send heavy equipment to planets with atmospheres, such as humans, probes, and scientific experiments.

In keeping with NASA’s aspirations for human exploration, one possible use would be a Mars landing in the mid-2030s. This mission will share a ride with the Joint Polar Satellite System, with the launch scheduled for March 2022.

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites

This is one of a group of weather satellites that orbit Earth’s equatorial plane in geosynchronous orbit, which means they orbit at the same time as the planet rotates. This permits the satellite to continuously observe the same region of the Earth from an altitude of around 22,300 miles (36,000 km).

Both NOAA and NASA are improving their current geosynchronous weather satellites to provide advanced pictures of the Earth’s environment, seas, weather, and lightning, as well as studying space weather created by the sun. This mission was initially set to launch in 2020. However, it was postponed until December 2021 due to a cooling system issue. The fault was discovered on GOES-17, another satellite in the series, according to NOAA’s website but has now been corrected.

Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer

This is a European Space Agency (ESA) project planned to explore Jupiter’s three icy moons Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa. NASA will be contributing to three instruments that will be used on the mission. Because each of these moons is thought to be potentially habitable, the mission will collect data on their oceans, surfaces, and innards.

So far, some data has been collected on Jupiter’s moons, but this will be the most comprehensive exploration yet. The mission is set to launch in June 2022 and will arrive in Jupiter’s system in 2029, following many planetary flybys. The spacecraft is scheduled to enter Ganymede’s orbit in 2032 to conduct observations, according to the European Space Agency’s website.