Space Aagencies and organizations continue to innovate as they explore space with viewpoints on the moon, Mars and beyond.
With the United States still aiming for the stars decades after the end of the space race, here’s a look at recent space efforts from NASA, Space Force, SpaceX and Blue Origin.
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NASA has focused on various missions, including the Artemis program, which aims to return to the moon, but its latest telescope has provided new insight into the vast depths of space.
The James Webb Space Telescope launched in December 2021, and NASA has been releasing images from the telescope since July 2022.
The telescope is a significant step up from the Hubble Space Telescope, which previously provided jaw-dropping images of space.
NASA calls the Webb Telescope “an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with coverage of longer wavelengths and greatly improved sensitivity. The longer wavelengths allow Webb to look much closer to the beginning of time and to look for the unnoticed formation of the first galaxies, as well as looking inside the dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today.”
The powerful space telescope looks for the first galaxies, observes star formation and determines how galaxies have evolved, among other goals, according to NASA.
The mission is expected to last five to 10 years, but the space agency says the telescope has a “scientific life” of more than 20 years.
The new branch of the military, Space Force, seeks to protect US interests in space and protect the country from any dangers in space.
Space Force has launched satellites and strengthened national security through partnerships with private companies, including SpaceX, and is looking to further collaborate with private companies by opening a collaboration center near Washington, DC
The Commercial Space Marketplace for Innovation and Collaboration in Virginia is designed to help strengthen ties between private space companies and the Space Force.
The physical space and support services provided through COSMIC provide a place and means for all of us to best come together and collaborate on commercial space capabilities, fighter requirements, and how to best deliver those capabilities, Colonel Richard Kniseley, senior material leader for Space Systems Commercial Space Office command, said in a statement.
SpaceX is one of the key players in the modern space industry and has partnered with NASA on upcoming missions, including for human landing systems on some Artemis missions.
One of the missions SpaceX is looking to conduct is the launch of what they are calling the “world’s first commercial space station” in 2025.
Vast Haven-1, as the space station will be called, is scheduled to launch into space on a Falcon 9 rocket as early as August 2025 and appears to have two manned flights to the space station.
“Haven-1 will be a fully functional independent space station and will eventually be attached as a module to a larger Vast space station currently under development,” SpaceX said in a statement announcing the space station in May.
SpaceX says the creation of the space station is part of its mission to “create and accelerate greater accessibility to space and greater opportunities for exploration on the path to making humanity multi-planetary.”
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One of the innovations Blue Origin has announced is its human landing system which it has been contracted to design for NASA via a $3.4 billion deal.
With the Artemis missions, including the one Blue Origin is creating a manned landing system for, NASA is looking to test innovations it hopes to use for future missions to Mars and beyond.
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