2021 | The Space Age


Digital Graphics Courtesy of NASA


2021 | The Space Age


There is no doubt that this past year has been a tough one no matter where you live in the world, however, discoveries beyond our planet and dazzling images of the cosmos provided a bright spot in 2020. Among many other achievements, we saw American astronauts launch from America to fly to the International Space Station for the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011. As amazing as 2020 might’ve been for space exploration, 2021 will be an even greater year as we enter the ‘Space Age’!

Space Programs Around The World

Space Programs Around The World

Around the world, there are over 100 registered Space Agencies. In this thread, I will briefly highlight a few of the more notable agencies (both private and government owned) that are presumed to make a major impact on space exploration and flight during the year of 2021.


SpaceX - Elon Musk [United States of America]

SpaceX is a private spaceflight company that puts satellites into orbit, delivers astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and is prepared and ready for the future! It was the first private company to send a cargo ship to the ISS, doing so in 2012. The company is working on developing powerful rockets and spacecraft capable of carrying people into space (including landing on the Moon, Mars, and beyond)!

Read More About SpaceX: https://www.spacex.com/


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) - United States Government [United States of America]

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is a U.S. government agency that is responsible for science and technology related to air and space. The Space Age started in 1957 with the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik. Since then, the race was on!

NASA opened for business on Oct. 1, 1958. The agency was created to oversee U.S. space exploration and aeronautics research.

The administrator is in charge of NASA. The NASA administrator is nominated by the president and confirmed by a vote in the Senate.

NASA is best known for leading the space industry and most notably, their Apollo 11 moon landing mission in 1969

Read More About NASA:
http://www.nasa.gov/


Blue Origin - Jeff Bezos [United States of America]

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is a private space company hoping to send paying customers to space in the very near future. Bezos has often stated the company’s goal is to help bring about a future in which millions are living and working in space.

‘Blue’, referencing the Blue Planet (Earth); and ‘Origin’, referencing the Point of Origin. Show how Blue Origin is prepared to make Earth the Point of Origin for the future of space!

Read More About Blue Origin: https://www.blueorigin.com/


China National Space Administration (CNSA) - Chinese Government [China]

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) is the national agency for China to coordinate its space activities. In contrast to most other space agencies worldwide, the organization is not involved with the International Space Station and, in fact, has a small space station of its own.

Since 2003, when Yang Liwei became the first Chinese national in space, CNSA has done several manned space launches. In 2013, a three-person crew aboard Shenzhou 9 made the first Chinese manned docking in space, attaching to the single-room station, Tiangong 1.

The agency succeeded in making the first soft landing on the moon in decades in December 2014 with its Chang’e 3 lander and its rover, Yutu. CNSA also carries out periodic launches by itself using its Chang Zheng (Long March) rocket series.

Read More About the CNSA: http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/english/


European Space Agency (ESA) - European State Governments [The European Union]

is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,200 in 2018 and an annual budget of about €6.68 billion/~$7.43 billion in 2020.

ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science, and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module, that will fly on the Space Launch System

Read More About The ESA: https://www.esa.int/


2021 Upcoming Space Launch/Event Schedule

Date Timeframe Launch Mission Location Agency
July 11th 10:30 am EST VSS Unity Crewed Spaceport America, New Mexico Virgin Galactic
July 20th TBD New Shepard Crewed Texas Blue Origin

Note that launches are highly weather-dependent and susceptible to scrub. In that case, a new launch window will be scheduled and posted

Previous Launches of 2021
Date Time Launch Mission Location Agency Status
January 7th 0053-0528 UTC Türksat 5A Satellite Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA SpaceX In Orbit - Success
January 14th 1700 UTC New Shepard NS-14 Mission Van Horn, Texas, USA Blue Origin Success!
January 17th 1800-2200 UTC 747 Launch Demo 2 Mojave Desert, California, USA Virgin Orbit Success!
January 17th 1800 UTC Tiantong-1-03 Xichang Space Center, Sichuan, China CASC In Orbit - Success!
January 20th 0726 UTC Another One Leaves The Crust Māhia Peninsula, New Zealand RocketLab In Orbit - Success!
January 20th 1302 UTC Starlink 16 Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA SpaceX In Orbit - Success!
January 24th 1500 UTC Transporter 1 Satellites Cape Canaveral, Flordia, USA SpaceX In Orbit - Huge Success!
January 29th 0447 UTC Yaogan-31-02 Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China CASC In Orbit - Success!
January 31st 1800-2300 UTC Stardust 1.0 Limestone, Maine bluShift Aerospace Success!
February 2nd 1400-2359 UTC Starship SN9 Prototype Launch Boca Chica, Texas, USA SpaceX Success - ish!
February 2nd 2045 UTC Lotos-S1 n05 Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia Russian Federal Space Agency Success
February 3rd 1057 UTC Starlink 17 Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA SpaceX Success
February 4th 0619 UTC Starlink 18 Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA SpaceX Success
February 18th 1800 UTC Perseverance Rover Jezero Crater, Mars NASA Success

2021 - What To Expect

With 2021 scheduled to be a breakthrough in the space industry, read below about some of the goals of each leading company for this year

2021 - What To Expect

SpaceX - Elon Musk [United States of America]

https://www.spacex.com/

SpaceX is a privately owned company by Elon Musk. During the year 2021, we can expect to see SpaceX…

  • Launch 48 Falcon Missions into space - most launching SpaceX’s ‘Starlink Satellites’
  • Operate 3 Manned Missions to the International Space Station
  • Make critical progress on the Starship and Starship Superheavy spacecraft program which will eventually bring us to the Moon, Mars, and beyond
  • Race remote-controlled cars on the surface of the Moon

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) - United States Government [United States of America]

https://www.nasa.gov/

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is a US government owned company. During the year 2021, we can expect to see NASA…

  • launch of Artemis I. An unmanned spacecraft that will lead the way to bring human life back to the moon
  • Landing of the Perseverance Rover on Mars on Febuary 18th
  • Multiple contracted launches
  • Supporting Space Operations around the globe

Blue Origin - Jeff Bezos [United States of America]

https://www.blueorigin.com/

Blue Origin is a privately owned company by Amazons, Jeff Bezos. During the year 2021, we can expect to see Blue Origin…

  • Make their first orbital launch - Prior to this, they have only gone sub-orbital during their rocket launches
  • Begin testing on their ‘Blue Moon’ spacecraft - A candidate to bring men and the first woman back to the moon
  • Multiple contract missions using their ‘New Glenn’ rockets

China National Space Administration (CNSA) - Chinese Government [China]

http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/english/

The China National Space Administration is a Chinese government owned company. During the year 2021, we can expect to see the CNSA…

  • Orbit and Landing of Tianwen-1; a Mars spacecraft, which is due to enter Mars orbit around Feb. 10 with a rover landing attempt to follow in May
  • 40 Orbital Rocket Launches
  • Launch of 2 new core stages to space to prepare for their new ‘Chinese Space Station‘

European Space Agency (ESA) - European State Governments [The European Union]

https://www.esa.int/

The European Space Agency is a European Union government owned company. During the year 2021, we can expect to see the ESA…

  • Launch of the James Webb Telescope - this will allow astronomers to see much further into deep space
  • Launch of 2-3 ESA Astronauts to the International Space Station

Interested In Space Exploration?


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Elon Musk is having a literal laugh at his company, seen the “Space X fails”


But the perseverance rover is what i’m waiting for.

Nicely done Jack!

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Awesome job!! 🚀

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Amazing job Jack! You must have put a lot of efforts on this!! Here’s a pastry for you 🥧 Can’t wait for you’re next post :))

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Thanks Elon, this is what everyone needed.


Anyway, awesome topic Mr. Chaser of Balloons! Hope to see many great trips to space in the coming year, (and I’d love to see the Starship ultimately turn out as a success).

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Logo Credit - Blue Origin

Launch of NS-14


What is Blue Origin?
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is a private space company hoping to send paying customers to space in the very near future. Bezos has often stated the company’s goal is to help bring about a future in which millions are living and working in space.

‘Blue’, referencing the Blue Planet (Earth); and ‘Origin’, referencing the Point of Origin. Show how Blue Origin is prepared to make Earth the Point of Origin for the future of space!

Read More About Blue Origin: https://www.blueorigin.com/


What is the goal of this mission?
Blue Origin will be conducting the 14th flight of its New Shepard launch vehicle on the NS-14 mission. Blue Origin eventually aims to enable people (with a good amount of money) to purchase a ticket on a suborbital flight. This will be the inaugural flight of the fourth New Shepard booster – the very rocket that will soon carry humans. New Shepard only has the ability to launch on a suborbital trajectory with an apex (meaning the highest point in a balistic trajectory) of about 119 km (74 miles) – their record.

What will NS-14 do?
NS-14 will fly on a suborbital trajectory with the attached capsule. It will ferry the capsule up to just above the Kármán line, once the capsule hits apex it will begin falling back to Earth before landing under parachutes. The capsule does not make it to orbit, however it does make it just above the 100 km (60 mile) Kármán line.

There is a very special guest on this flight! Mannequin Skywalker, Blue Origin’s test dummy will be riding along and gathering data such as g force and acoustics to farther rate the capsule and the entire vehicle for human flight. This capsule in particular has been fitted with more communications equipment, better crew displays and acoustics and thermal dampening for a more comfortable flight experience.


Credit: Blue Origin & Everyday Astronaut


Watch Live

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today on top gear, musk will

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Logo Credit - Virgin Orbit

Launch of LauncherOne


What is Virgin Orbit?
Virgin Orbit is a company within the Virgin Group which plans to provide launch services for small satellites into low earth orbit from a 747

Read More About Virgin Orbit: https://virginorbit.com/


Why Air-to-Air Launch?
The ability to air-launch is a tremendous advantage for multiple reasons. If the weather is bad in one area, the plane can fly to another area with calmer skies. Some other advantages include a reduced amount of fuel, an altitude and velocity increase, which will already have taken it out of the denser parts of the atmosphere.

Their goal is to make space available to everyone. Since the CubeSat industry is expanding, there is room for yet another launch vehicle in the small sat launcher class. They will be capable of providing a cheaper way to launch small satellites for universities and STEM programs.


Recap of Last Mission:

Learn More:
Launch Demo 2 | LauncherOne | Everyday Astronaut
Virgin Orbit | Official Website


Track The Flight


If they go live: a link will be posted here

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If I see a man on Mars this decade, I will be the happiest man to exist

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“bom bom bom”

Every time I see this I think of that

If you know you know

You forgot the US Space Force

tenor (6)

Incredible! All the Rockets are incredible powerful, but this is yet another dimension.

Thank you for the great, detailed updates on this thread as well, really interesting!

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The year was an extremely productive year for space. Nasa had launched American astronauts for the U.S soil on board the Dragon 2 capsule. We saw a Mars Mission that is only a few weeks from landing.
Space X had various test’s for their starship prototype. My favorite of all was seeing starship belly flop and attempt to land. Space X also recently set the record for the most SmallSats ever launched. I am very excited for what different Space programs have in store for us this year. Great topic!!!

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Logo Credit - SpaceX

Launch of the Starship - SN9


What is SpaceX?
SpaceX is a private spaceflight company that puts satellites into orbit, delivers astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and is prepared and ready for the future! It was the first private company to send a cargo ship to the ISS, doing so in 2012. The company is working on developing powerful rockets and spacecraft capable of carrying people into space (including landing on the Moon, Mars, and beyond)!

Read More About SpaceX: https://www.spacex.com/


What is the Starship?
Starship/Super Heavy is SpaceX’s next-generation super heavy-lift reusable launch vehicle. The first stage, known as Super Heavy, will produce 71.2 MN of thrust, while the Saturn V, the most powerful rocket ever flown, produced 34 MN of thrust. This will make it the most powerful rocket ever made. When it’s operational, Starship will liftoff from either Boca Chica, Texas; Cape Canaveral, Florida; or an offshore launch platform.

Starship is SpaceX’s plan to colonize Mars and dramatically bring down the cost of space travel. With an estimated eventual cost of $2 million per flight, Starship will be one of the cheapest orbital rockets ever, especially on a cost-per-kilogram basis. Starship will be able to carry 100 tonnes to just about anywhere, due to orbital refueling. - Everyday Astronaut


What will SN9 do?
SpaceX will be conducting a 10 km test flight of their SN9 prototype vehicle. This flight will be a repeat of the largely successful SN8 test flight, with some minor flight profile changes and a lower apogee.

SN9 will lift off from Boca Chica, Texas under the power of its three Raptor engines. The Raptor engines will shut off one by one during ascent to decrease loads and acceleration on the vehicle. At apogee, the single Raptor engine still burning will initiate the vertical-to-horizontal flip before shutting off. SN9 will make use of its body flaps to keep it stable during descent. Prior to landing, SN9 will ignite two of its Raptor engines to reorientate itself back into a vertical position and perform a propulsive landing. - Everyday Astronaut


Recap of SN8


Watch Live - Unknown T-Minus

Learn More:
SpaceX | Official Website
Everyday Astronaut | Official Website


If you have any questions, feel free to ask! It’s time to get excited about space!

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Watching it here, very exciting, one step closer to bringing humans to Mars!

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Currently watching SN9, really suspenseful, lol.

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SpaceX Is Live! We are ‘GO FOR LAUNCH’!


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