SNAPSHOT: Lunar Missions
The first attempted lunar mission was the Soviet Union’s Luna 1 impactor, which launched Jan. 2, 1959, and passed within only 5,995 kilometers of the Moon at its closest point. The Space Race brought a large wave of lunar activity in the 1960s, but there have only been a few missions in the decades since.
ISS Damage Triggers Apparent Détente Between United States, Russian Federation
Trouble on the International Space Station (ISS) may have thawed relations between Russia and the United States. The two nations overcame tensions in January for a Moscow summit on resolving problems aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to bring home astronauts who were scheduled to fly aboard the capsule damaged by a micrometeorite.
Orbital Launch Activity Grows at Record Pace in 2022
Space launch activity continued to grow rapidly in 2022, reaching a new high of 186 orbital launch attempts. Last year was filled with successes and had three fewer failures than 2021, even with 41 more attempts.
Pressure Ramps Up for New Vehicle Launches Pushed from 2022 to 2023
The list of launch vehicles set for maiden flights in 2023 may sound familiar. It’s mostly the same group of launch vehicles initially slated to fly in 2022.
As New Solar Cycle Heats Up, Multiple Missions Explore Sun’s Mysteries
The Sun lies at the center of our solar system and sets the cycle of our daily lives, yet so much remains unknown about how it functions. As the Sun enters into a years-long phase of increasing solar eruptions, its increased activity poses risks to thousands of Earth- and space-based infrastructure assets. The increased solar activity comes as probes from NASA, ESA, and China are gathering the most advanced data ever collected about Earth’s star
International Space Station Damage Triggers Apparent Detente
A micrometeorite the width of a pencil tip sliced through a Soyuz spacecraft docked at the International Space Station at nearly 16,000 mph, wrecking a radiator for the spacecraft’s computers and delaying the return of three astronauts in orbit by months, officials from NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos said during a rare joint news conference Wednesday.
Launch Log, 2023
Interested in this year’s global space launch vehicle activity? Keep track of orbital launch trends with our 2023 launch log. Launch data is updated every day during weekdays, excluding U.S. holidays.
Artemis I Mission Highlights
NASA’s Artemis program is off to a successful start after Orion splashed down safely on Dec. 11, 2022. Launched on the inaugural Space Launch System (SLS) flight in November, the Orion spacecraft had several key milestones along its 25-day lunar flyby.
Successful SLS Launch Kickstarts Artemis Program
After months of delays, NASA’s Artemis I mission rocketed to space from Kennedy Space Center at 1:47 a.m. EST on Nov. 16, 2022.
The maiden flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) carried the Orion spacecraft to orbit to begin its first journey around the Moon.
After decades of relatively little activity, missions to the Moon are becoming more frequent. Well-established space agencies like NASA and Roscosmos are ramping up their lunar programs.