The year 2022 promises to be a year rich in powerful new rocket launches and lunar exploration. In particular, the U.S. launch of the Vulcan carrier rocket, which is developed to replace the Atlas 5 rocket, which receives the Russian engine RD-180, should take off for the first time. For the first time the American super heavy rocket Space Launch System (SLS) with the Orion lunar spacecraft should take off. This year Russia promised to return to the Moon with the Luna 25 mission. Lenta.ru reports on these and other events.
In 2022, for the first time should fly several new rockets.
The first orbital flight will make fully multi-use transport system Starship American company SpaceX. It is expected that the launch will take place from the launch pad located in the village of Boca Chica (Texas), after which, at about 30 kilometers from the Starship will separate its first stage (Super Heavy), which will make a soft landing in the Gulf of Mexico, 30 kilometers off the coast.
The second stage of the Starship (otherwise known as the namesake spacecraft) will complete its flight, making a soft landing in the Pacific Ocean, 100 kilometers off the northwest coast of Kauai (Hawaii archipelago). The entire Starship flight should take about an hour and a half.
The first attempts to launch Starship into orbit may take place in February and March, but it is unlikely that by then the system will be ready for such tests. Nevertheless, the head of SpaceX, Ilon Musk, such a Starship launch is scheduled for no later than July.
Reusable transport system will allow SpaceX not only to quickly complete the deployment of a global satellite system of high-speed broadband Internet access Starlink, but also provide NASA lunar landing module Human Landing System (HLS).
The first launch of Boeing’s SLS rocket with the Lockheed Martin Orion spacecraft (without a crew) should take place in February and March. Orion will be in space for more than 25 days, 6 of them – on a lunar orbit. The success of the American Artemis 1 mission will certify the SLS and Orion to fly astronauts to the moon.
In the middle of 2022, the first flight will be made by the Vulcan rocket, which is being developed by the United Launch Alliance to replace the U.S. launch vehicle Atlas V, which receives a Russian RD-180 propulsion system.