An Exciting Year Ahead for Space Exploration

2020 is going to take man to places not yet visited, and return us to familiar stomping grounds.

China will send robots to pick up samples from the moon.

Four missions will expand our understanding of Mars, including a NASA rover that will tell us if there were ever Martians.

“Boeing's work with Starliner and Space X’s work with the Crew Dragon vehicles – those are the two things we ought to pay attention to the most,” says Neel Patel, space reporter for MIT Technology Review. They are both going to try to launch Americans into space from American soil, a move with global and national security implications. “It weans us off from relying on Russia, as we have for almost the entire last decade,” says Patel.

NASA will continue working feverishly on their Artemis 1 space launch system that will propel their Orion module to the moon and beyond. “The agency is striking for a very, very sharp deadline of 2024 and it’s very unclear whether the agency is actually going to make it,” Patel asserts. They’ve been suffering from delays and missteps, as have all space explorers.

Space X will have their 720-satellite network and Oneweb will have their 600-satellite network functional by the end of the year, expanding broadband service to customers. The collection of equipment orbiting the earth is also likely to lead to louder and louder complaints from a number of stakeholders as the year plays out.

This is the year civilians are expected to get their first chance to leave Planet Earth compliments of Richard Branson’s Virgin Gallactic. More than 600 space tourists have signed up and some are already undergoing training.

As a new decade begins, so do dreams of adventure that refuse to succumb to nature's gravitational pull.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy DoD STP-2 Launch

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