The official start of the “Space Race” began back in 1957, with the Soviet Union launching the world’s first satellite, Sputnik. Fearful of Soviet military control of space, the Americans quickly ready a rocket.
From there the human history of space exploration has evolved and grown into the stuff of dreams. It’s no longer a race out of fear, but a race to see how we can keep learning and growing. Newest to the game, we’ll be seeing India launching their first manned space mission.
Three Indian astronauts will be sent to space by 2022, as part of India’s ambitious Gaganyaan project. The Indian government has announced it is allocating 100 billion rupees ($1.43bn) for its first manned space mission, set to be launched by 2022.
India has launched satellites with the US company, SpaceX, and their space programs continue to grow. We’re excited to see their country join the manned space missions, and will happily cheer when their country’s flag accompanies 3 of their astronauts to space.
Meanwhile, China’s probe on the Chang’e-4, entered a planned orbit today.
“to prepare for the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon,” the news agency said, citing the China National Space Administration. It didn’t say when the landing would occur.
Because the moon is tidally locked with the Earth, we’ve never seen the “dark side” of the moon from our home. Many satellites and manned space flights have seen it from afar, when passing, however none have landed. China will be the first to land on the dark side of the moon, and we’re all very curious to follow along and see what they find.
The tasks of the Chang’e-4 include astronomical observation, surveying the moon’s terrain, landform and mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment
China aims to catch up with the leaders in space exploration, the United States and Russia, by 2030. Planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.
While China and India are respectively working on their own projects, the United States NASA Program is celebrating a huge milestone on New Year’s Eve, while the private company, SpaceX, pushes forward with it’s Manned Mars Program.
NASA’s New Horizons Satellite, launched back in 2006, headed for Pluto and beyond. Jan 1st will mark it’s long journey, and 4 billion miles away from Earth. Find out more here on how you can watch this historic event.
Spacex’s Mission to Mars sets it’s first goal to send a cargo ship in 2022, with human passengers to follow in 2024, barring any changes that can and will occur. Mars is no longer out of reach for the human race. It’s no longer a question of if, but a matter of when, and Elon Musk has given us a rough date for the near future.
The objectives for the first mission will be to confirm water resources, identify hazards, and put in place initial power, mining, and life support infrastructure. A second mission, with both cargo and crew, is targeted for 2024, with primary objectives of building a propellant depot and preparing for future crew flights.SpaceX Website
With so many programs working on space exploration for our planet as a whole, we’ll see a lot more engineers and technical jobs developing over the next decade. For the upcoming generation, space travel is at hand and with the right work ethic and education, they can be the leaders in a huge step for humanity.
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