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All incredible things happen in 2019 in space

Artistic conception of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule during takeoff on a Falcon 9 rocket.
Image: SpaceX
Review of the Year Looking back on the best, worst and most significant moments of the year, we look forward to next year.

The past year has seen tremendous progress in humanity's ability to explore space, and promises to be no different in 201

9. From mysterious Kuiper belt objects and Martian probes to historic missile launches to daring attempts to touch the sun, the next 12 months.

New horizons meet Ultima Thule

2019 begins with a bang While NASA's New Horizons visit Ultima Thule, there is a mysterious Kuiper Belt object that is 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) long the sun is removed. On January 1 at 12:33 pm EST, the spaceship will pass Ultima Thule and reach speeds of 50,000 km / h. It captures as many images as possible at resolutions between 30 and 70 meters. per pixel.

Artistic vision of New Horizons flying past Ultima Thule. This picture seems to exaggerate how close the spacecraft will get – its current trajectory will be within 3,500 kilometers of the Kuiper Belt's distant object.
Figure: NASA / Johns Hopkins University of Applied Physics / Southwest Research Institute

The historic approach to Ultima Thule, also known as the 2014 MU69, will be the first flyby of a Kuiper Belt object. During the flyby, we learn if Ultima Thule is a tight binary system, a contact binary system (where two parts touch), or something else. The object or objects have a diameter of about 30 km (30 km) and are irregularly shaped. With his many instruments on board, New Horizons will also map the surface geology of the object to learn how it was formed to measure its surface temperature, to look for signs of comet-like activity (such as melting ice) and other mission targets.

on the moon

The moon should receive at least two new robotic visitors in 2019.

It is expected that the Chinese lander and rover Chang # 4, launched December 8, 2018, will reach the surface of the other side of the moon on January 3, or possibly earlier. The landing site is the 180 kilometer Von Kármán Crater, a moonrise crater in the southern hemisphere. Because it is on the other side of the moon, CE-4 will communicate with Earth via the Chinese Queqiao satellite launched in May.

Conceptual image of China's rover on the moon.
Image: NAOC

If According to the successful mission, the first soft landing and inspection of the moon's other side is included according to China's National Defense Science and Technology Bureau. The lander and the six-wheeled rover measure the temperature of the lunar surface, analyze lunar rocks and dust, and examine, among other things, the cosmic rays. The mission will also determine if the region is quiet enough to build a space radio telescope due to human technological activity. The mission should last at least three months.

A prototype of the rover of Chandrayaan-2, which is undergoing tests.
Image: ISRO

At some point in the second half of 2019, India will launch its own rover the Moon as part of the GSLV-F10 / Chandrayaan-2 mission of the Indian Space Research Organization. A six-wheeled rover will move around a landing pad near the south pole of the moon, observe the lunar surface and transmit data to Earth. In addition, the Chandrayaan-2 satellite will collect scientific information about lunar topography, minerals and the virtually non-existent atmosphere of the moon, as well as looking for signs of water ice.

And who knows, maybe a team Participating in the Lunar XPrize will finally land a rover on the moon, but we'll believe it when we see it.

Hayabusa2 will collect samples from Ryugu Augoiden

. Sometime in early 2019, hopefully at the end of January, the Japanese Hayabusa2 will sample surface samples from the Ryugu asteroid. JAXA is still trying to find the perfect place for Hayabusa2 to do its job as shallow regions on this space rock are hard to come by.

An incredible shot of the Ryugu asteroid taken on June 26 by the Hayabusa2 probe.
Image: JAXA, University of Tokyo and co-workers

In December 2019, the probe takes its last samples and begins its journey to Earth. If all goes well, this will be the first time a probe has sampled an asteroid and returned it for analysis.

Commercial Crew Test Flights – Finally

NASA's contract with Russia ends in April, so it's imperative The space agency finds another means to bring its astronauts into space. The private sector is considering the case, and 2019 promises to be the year when the United States finally regains the ability to reach the International Space Station alone, something it has not been able to do since the Space Shuttle program ,

On January 17, SpaceX, in collaboration with NASA's commercial crew program, will use a Falcon 9 rocket to launch an unexploded Crew Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. If this test runs well, a crew could already take place on 18 June. NASA astronaut Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were tapped for this mission.

The artist's impression of the CST-100 Starliner.
Image: Boeing

In March, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launches the first CST of Boeing -100 Starliners – also unscrewed – to the ISS. A subsequent crew test with Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson and NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Mann could take place in August, according to NASA.

Test launch of a Blue Origin rocket.
Image: Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos & Space Explorer Blue Origin is expected to complete both crew and unmanned missions in 2019 with its sub-orbital New Shepard vehicle, with dates still to be determined.

Opportunity Rover, please call NASA Opportunity Rover has been silent since June 10, when a global dust storm has put the probe into a hibernate mode from which it could not be woken up.

The sleeping – and possibly dead – opportunity rover from outer space. It's the little white dot in the middle of the square.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Univ. of Arizona

Mission controllers have intercepted the rover over a wide range of times and frequencies using the Deep Space Network (DNS) Radio Science receiver, but to no avail. NASA will continue to try their "sweeps and peeps" over the coming weeks and months, but if Opportunity does not head home, the mission controllers must declare the 15-year mission final and regrettable.

InSightful drilling on Mars [19659009] Opportunity news is sad, but Curiosity is still chugging along. Note also the InSight of NASA, which landed on Mars at the end of November. The stationary probe should begin drilling at the surface of Mars in late January or early February.

An in-sight selfie.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech

InSight team members will complete the seismometer in January and monitor Marsquakes Around this time, the probe will use its robotic arm to set the heat probe. The purpose of the mission is to improve our understanding of the planetary formation and the internal geology of Mars. For this purpose, InSight will use its instruments to measure seismic activity, temperature and air pressure.

Swooping Spacecraft

Get ready for ever more scenic photos of Jupiter and the Sun, courtesy of the Juno Probe and the Parker Solar Probe

A glorious shot of Jupiter's swirling cloud heads.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran

NASA's Juno spacecraft planned for more perijoves in 2019 The closest orbit of an object to the center of Jupiter. Juno's 18th Perijove will take place on February 17th and April 19th on April 6th. Juno has taken exceptionally detailed shots of Jupiter's cloud tops, but the probe is approaching the majestic gas giant more and more.

A photo of the sun's corona or the outside atmosphere as observed by the Parker Solar Probe on December 8, 2018.
Image: NASA / Naval Research Laboratory / Parker Solar Probe.

Meanwhile, the Parker Solar Probe will continue its historic but ultimately doomed mission of "touching the sun." The second and third perihelion – the points closest to the sun during their orbit – are scheduled for April 4 and September 1. December 26 The Parker Probe receives its second gravity aid from Venus. These flyby will lead to important new data on the Sun, such as the nature of its corona and its ability to quench solar storms.

Commemoration ceremonies for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing of Apollo 11

on July 16, 2019 Be the 50th anniversary of the moon landing of Apollo 11. Expect tons of media in the coming months.

Commemorative Coins for the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11
Image: US Mint / NASA

A series of events commemorates this historic milestone, including the 2019 Apollopalooza (a celebration) at the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver), the Apollo Celebration Gala at the Kennedy Space Center and the Summer Moon Festival in Wapakoneta, Ohio. The US Coin will be releasing commemorative coins for Apollo's 50th Anniversary on Jan. 24, which look pretty awesome.

Launch of the CHEOPS Space Telescope

The European Space Agency plans to launch the CHEOPS Space Telescope sometime in October or November. Once the space telescope is in orbit, it will hunt for extrasolar planets, especially in terms of size between Earth and Neptune.

The impression of the artist of CHEOPS.
Image: ESA

CHEOPS takes off from a Soyuz rocket and moves into orbit at a distance of some 700 km above the earth. CHEOPS uses the proven transit method to detect stars and looks for exoplanets passing in front of them. CHEOPS was originally due to launch in 2015, so this is long overdue.

Heavenly feast for the eyes

For you celestial observers there are some interesting astronomical phenomena in 2019.

A total lunar eclipse on January 21 will be visible to observers in North America, South America, the Eastern Pacific, the Western Atlantic, and extreme parts of Europe and Africa. On July 2, a total solar eclipse will be visible to observers in parts of the South Pacific, Central Chile, and Central Argentina.

Image: NASA

Three full supermons will be held in 2019: January 21, February 19 and March 21. Supermoons occur when the Moon is closest to the Earth, making it appear slightly larger and brighter than usual

Jupiter will be in opposition on June 10, or its closest approach to Earth. At this point he will look tall and bright. Uranus will do the same on October 27th.

On November 11, we see a rare passage of Mercury through the sun. This does not happen very often and will not happen until 2039. By applying an approved solar filter to a telescope, amateur astronomers can see Mercury's small black disk against the backdrop of the sun. This transit will be visible to observers in East North America, Mexico, Central America, South America and parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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