Up, up, and away

13 biggest space launches to look forward to in 2022

Spaceflight’s next big year starts now.

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Whether it’s satellite launches, crewed flights, or interplanetary missions, groundbreaking space travel from agencies and companies around the world will capture our attention in the coming months.

Here are 13 launches to watch in 2022:

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13. Starlink

To kick off the year, SpaceX will launch more Starlink satellites on January 6. Then, on January 13, they’ll launch another round of satellites as part of the Transporter rideshare mission.

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12. Axiom-1

The first private citizens to visit the International Space Station will depart Earth in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule no later than January.

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11. GOES-T

The newest iteration of NASA and NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite is set to launch January 8. It will monitor Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment.

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10. Artemis 1

An uncrewed NASA test flight to the Moon — which will pave the way for a crewed lunar mission in 2024 — is scheduled for February.

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9. SpaceX Crew-4 & Crew-5

Following the successful Crew-3 mission to the ISS last year, Crew-4 is set to launch in April and Crew-5 in September.

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8. ExoMars

The ESA and Russian Roscosmos’ Rosalind Franklin rover is set to launch in September. It will search for signs of life on Mars by drilling beneath its surface.

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7. New Glenn

The first orbital rocket from Blue Origin, which was originally due to launch in 2021, now has an expected launch window in late 2022.

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6.Boeing Starliner

The company plans to launch its second test of the CST-100 Starliner to the ISS in May. If all goes well, a crewed flight could take place in the second half of the year.

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5. Gaganyaan

The India Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to launch a test flight in the second half of 2022 to pave the way for a crewed mission in 2023. ISRO will send one passenger up — Vyommitra, a humanoid robot.

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4. Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter

South Korea’s first lunar mission, which will test the possibility of space internet and monitor the Moon from orbit, will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in August.

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3. Psyche

In August, NASA and SpaceX will send a spacecraft to explore the metal-rich asteroid Psyche that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.

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2. Shenzhou-15

This will be the third crewed mission to China’s Tiangong space station, and will launch in November.

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1. PRIME-1

NASA has set a December launch for Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment, which will mine and sample ice from the Moon for the first time. It will pave the way for a future crewed Artemis mission.

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