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By Denise Chow
Last year, NASA had landed a probe on Mars, China launched a spacecraft on the other side of the moon and commercial space companies such as this SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have taken important steps to bring their first paying passengers into space.
However, if 201
is incredibly exciting, "said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry group in Washington. "I'm a big student of history and I love the entire Apollo era, but that was one of the early chapters, and we're looking at the next chapters of the coming year."
Here is the most notable space events planned for 2019 (all launch dates may change):
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft passes flyby of Ultima Thule
The New Horizons spacecraft was developed to suit Pluto However, following its successful encounter with the dwarf planet in 2015, the vehicle raced further into the Kuiper belt, a debris-filled region of the solar system beyond Neptune's orbit where New Horizons will be at a distance of approximately 4 billion miles on January 1st Passing Earth from the iced object 2014 MU69 called Ultima Thule.
The rendezvous of the New Year makes Ultima the farthest object of all time visit ei a spacecraft.
China Lands on the Other Side of the Moon for the First Time
On December 7, China launched its robotic spacecraft Chang & # 39; e 4 for the world's first mission on the other side of the moon. The land robot and the rover, which are transported by vehicle, could land on January 1 in the South Pole Aitken Basin, one of the largest and oldest impact craters of the Moon.
Mission Chang # 4 is a prelude to a follow-up robotic mission, Chang # 5, which is designed to return lunar samples to Earth.
SpaceX Performs First Test Flight of New Crew Capsule
SpaceX has developed its Crew Dragon capsule to replace NASA's Space Shuttle, which was retired in 2011. The new vehicle will take up to seven astronauts there The International Space Station ISS ended the dependence of NASA on the Russian Soyuz capsules.
During their first unrestrained test flight scheduled to take place on January 17, the capsule will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL, launch Space Station and then return to Earth and splash around in the Atlantic Ocean
Successful, the crew Dragon's first test flight will be followed by astronauts aboard later in the year.
Israel launches its first spacecraft on the Moon
] At some point in the first quarter of 2019, a Tel Aviv-based non-profit organization called SpaceIL will become a 1,322-pound lunar explorer with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. After a two-month voyage, the lander will land on the moon, with the earliest landing attempt scheduled for February 13th.
With the mission, Israel hopes to become the fourth nation to land a boat on the moon, USA, Russia and China.
SpaceIL was formed to compete in Google's Lunar X Prize competition, a now-defunct international competition that offered $ 20 million to the group to send the first privately-funded probe to the Moon. The competition ended in March 2018 without a winner.
India launches its second mission to the moon
On January 31, the Indian Space Agency will launch its second Chandrayaan-2 moon mission, sending a robotic orbiter, lander, and rover to the moon. Chandrayaan-2, who will land at the South Pole of the Moon, will study the mineral content of the Moon and its topography.
India's first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, was launched in October 2008. This mission found evidence of water ice on the Moon's surface.
British startup launches first satellite set for the Internet all over the world
At some point in February, a London-based startup called OneWeb will launch the first ten satellites, which will ultimately be a fleet of 600 Telecommunication satellites providing high-speed Internet services to all parts of the world. The satellites launch aboard an Arianespace Soyuz rocket from the Guyana Space Center in French Guiana.
Soyuz rocket brings crew to International Space Station
On February 28, a Russian Soyuz rocket will lift in front of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch and the Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin to the ISS. The crew will take part in three space aircraft already on board the station.
Boeing completes first test flight of its CST-100 Starliner capsule
Like SpaceX, Boeing is developing a space capsule to replace NASA's retired space shuttle fleet. Sometime in March, Its CST-100 Starliner will make its maiden voyage with an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with the unscrewed capsule docked to the space station before returning to Earth. If the test was successful, Boeing was able to conduct Starliner crew test flights in August.
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket Returns to Space