2020s in spaceflight

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2020s in spaceflight
Orion visiting Deep Space Gateway.jpg
NASA plans to assemble a Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway as a permanent base in lunar orbit during the 2020s.

This article documents expected notable spaceflight events during the 2020s.

In 2020, NASA plans to launch the Mars 2020 rover,[1] followed by the maiden launch of the Space Launch System (launch date to be determined, unlikely to be before late 2021);[2] in 2023, NASA plans to carry out the first crewed flight of the Space Launch System.[3]

The trend towards cost reduction in access to orbit is expected to continue. In 2020, Blue Origin plans the maiden flight of New Glenn with a reusable first stage.[4] In the same year SpaceX plans to launch its new fully reusable Starship/Super Heavy system.[5]

NASA plans a return of humans to the Moon by 2024, first by assembling a Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway in lunar orbit. A crewed exploration of Mars could follow in the mid 2030s. An uncrewed and then a crewed trip to Jupiter and Europa have been commonly contemplated, but no space agencies or companies have yet announced definite plans to launch a crewed mission further than Mars. SpaceX, a private company, has also announced plans to land humans on Mars in the mid-2020s, with the long-term goal of enabling the colonization of Mars.

India plans its first crewed flight with a spacecraft called Gaganyaan for December 2021 on a home-grown GSLV-III rocket. The mission would make India the 4th nation to launch a crewed space flight after Russia, US and China.

The number of small satellites launched annually was expected to grow to around one thousand (2018 estimate),[6] although SpaceX alone plans to launch more than that for its Starlink constellation (12,000 satellites from 2019 to 2027).[7] The majority of the satellites are expected to be communication satellites in large constellations.

Orbital launches

2020

2021

2022

2023

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2023 (TBD)[8] United States BFR United States TBD (Boca Chica or Cape Canaveral/Kennedy) United States SpaceX
Japan #dearMoon Yusaku Maezawa Lunar free return Crewed lunar flyby  
Private spaceflight with 6 to 8 artists commissioned and funded by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa.[8]
2023 (TBD)[9] India PSLV India Satish Dhawan India ISRO
India Shukrayaan-1 ISRO Cytherocentric Venus orbiter  
2023 (TBD)[3] United States SLS Block 1 Crew United States Kennedy LC-39B United States NASA
United States Artemis 2 NASA Lunar free-return Second flight of Artemis program  
First crewed test flight of SLS and Orion.
2023 (TBD)[10] United States SLS Block 1 Cargo United States Kennedy LC-39B United States NASA
United States Europa Clipper NASA Jovicentric Jupiter orbiter  
2023 (TBD)[11] Russia Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Rezonans-MKA Roscosmos Tundra Magnetospheric research  
2023 (TBD)[12] Russia Soyuz-5 Russia TBD Russia Roscosmos
Russia Federatsiya-1 Roscosmos Low Earth Test flight  
An uncrewed test flight of Russia's new crew spacecraft.
2023 (TBD)[13] Europe Vega France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe e.Deorbit ESA Polar Space debris removal  
2023 (TBD)[14] Europe Vega-C or Ariane 62 France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
China Europe SMILE CAS, ESA Molniya orbit Earth observation  
2023 (TBD)[15] TBA TBA TBA
United States SPHEREx NASA Low Earth (SSO) Space observatory  

2024

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
September 2024[16] Japan H3-24 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y2 Japan MHI
Japan Martian Moons Exploration JAXA Areocentric Mars orbiter and Phobos lander  
2024 (TBD)[17] China Long March 5 China Wenchang LC-1 China CASC
China Xuntian CNSA Low Earth Space telescope  
Xuntian ("Heavenly Cruiser") is a planned space telescope that will orbit close to the Chinese Space Station.
2024 (TBD)[18] Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luna 28 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander  
2024 (TBD)[12] Russia Soyuz-5 Russia TBD Russia Roscosmos
Russia Federatsiya-1 Roscosmos Low Earth Test flight  
First crewed flight of the new spacecraft.
2024 (TBD) United States Commercial launch vehicle United States Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center United States NASA
United States TBD (Blue Moon or Lockheed Martin Lunar Lander) NASA Selenocentric Lunar lander  
This mission (alongside Artemis 3) will send a lander to land two astronauts on the Moon.
2024 (TBD) United States SLS Block 1B United States KSC LC-39B United States NASA
United States Orion NASA Cislunar space Crewed lunar landing  
Artemis 3 mission to land astronauts on the Moon, will meet the lunar lander in lunar orbit.


2026

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2026 (TBD)[18] Russia Angara-A5 / KVTK Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luna 29 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander  
2026 (TBD)[19] Russia Soyuz-STB / Fregat-MT France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
Europe PLATO ESA Sun–Earth L2 Exoplanetary science  
2026 (TBD)[20] TBD TBD TBD
United States Dragonfly NASA Heliocentric (to Saturn) Exploration of Titan  
Rotorcraft probe to fly in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.

2028

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2028 (TBD)[21][22] Europe Ariane 62 France Kourou ELA-4 France Arianespace
Europe ARIEL ESA Sun–Earth L2 Exoplanetary science  
Europe Japan Comet Interceptor ESA / JAXA Sun–Earth L2 Comet flyby  


Deep-space rendezvous after 2022

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
20 June 2023 BepiColombo Third gravity assist at Mercury
21 August 2023 Parker Solar Probe Sixth gravity assist at Venus
24 September 2023 OSIRIS-REx Sample return to Earth
5 September 2024 BepiColombo Fifth gravity assist at Mercury
6 November 2024 Parker Solar Probe Seventh gravity assist at Venus
2 December 2024 BepiColombo Third gravity assist at Mercury
24 December 2024 Parker Solar Probe 22nd perihelion, closest approach to the Sun
9 January 2025 BepiColombo Sixth gravity assist at Mercury
5 December 2025 BepiColombo Hermocentric orbit insertion at Mercury


References

  1. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Atlas-5". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  2. ^ "NASA's large SLS rocket unlikely to fly before at least late 2021". 17 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "NASA's Deep Space Exploration System is Coming Together". NASA. 8 March 2019.
  4. ^ Henry, Caleb (12 September 2017). "Blue Origin enlarges New Glenn's payload fairing, preparing to debut upgraded New Shepard". SpaceNews. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ Henry, Caleb (28 June 2019). "SpaceX targets 2021 commercial Starship launch". SpaceNews. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Smallsat Growth On Shaky Foundations". Northern Sky Research. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  7. ^ Henry, Caleb (26 April 2019). "FCC OKs lower orbit for some Starlink satellites". SpaceNews. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b "SpaceX will send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the Moon".
  9. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (2 September 2017). "Indian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  10. ^ Sloss, Philip (11 September 2018). "NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Запуск спутника "Резонанс-МКА" перенесли на два года" [Rezonans-MKA launch has been delayed by two years] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Источник назвал разработчика системы управления для новой ракеты "Союз-5"" [Source named the developer of Soyuz-5 control system] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  13. ^ "E.DEORBIT Mission". ESA. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  14. ^ "SMILE: Summary". UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  15. ^ Cofield, Calla; Cole, Steve (13 February 2019). "NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of Universe". NASA. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  16. ^ MMX Homepage. JAXA, 2017
  17. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (3 August 2017). "Chinese Launch Manifest". Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  18. ^ a b Pietrobon, Steven (17 August 2017). "Russian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Construction of Europe's exoplanet hunter PLATO begins". ESA. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  20. ^ Wall, Mike. "NASA Is Sending a Life-Hunting Drone to Saturn's Huge Moon Titan". Space.com. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  21. ^ "ESA's next science mission to focus on nature of exoplanets". ESA. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  22. ^ Lakdawalla, Emily (21 June 2019). "ESA to Launch Comet Interceptor Mission in 2028". The Planetary Society. Retrieved 9 August 2019.

External links

  • Bergin, Chris. "NASASpaceFlight.com".
  • Clark, Stephen. "Spaceflight Now".
  • Kelso, T.S. "Satellite Catalog (SATCAT)". CelesTrak.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Chronology of Space Launches".
  • Kyle, Ed. "Space Launch Report".
  • McDowell, Jonathan. "Jonathan's Space Report".
  • Pietrobon, Steven. "Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive".
  • Wade, Mark. "Encyclopedia Astronautica".
  • Webb, Brian. "Southwest Space Archive".
  • Zak, Anatoly. "Russian Space Web".
  • "ISS Calendar". Spaceflight 101.
  • "NSSDCA Master Catalog". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • "Space Calendar". NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • "Space Information Center". JAXA.
  • "Хроника освоения космоса" [Chronicle of space exploration]. CosmoWorld (in Russian).
Generic references:
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