Space news in 2023 focused on the moon, asteroids, and new rockets. The year began with NASA announcing four astronauts for a late 2024 moon orbit and another crew for a lunar landing. After Russia failed, India became the fourth country to land on the moon. China, the Japanese Space Agency, and two U.S. firms planned more moon landings.
Space Exploration Highlights of 2023: Rockets, Asteroids, and Cosmic Discoveries
Two test flights of SpaceX’s Starship, the largest and most powerful rocket ever, exploded. Despite hurdles, SpaceX wants to improve the rocket’s lunar mission capabilities for NASA’s upcoming moonwalkers. ULA’s Vulcan, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, and Europe’s improved Ariane 6 will launch in 2024.
NASA’s Osiris-Rex probe delivered Bennu rubble during “asteroid autumn” making headlines. The Lucy mission found a small moon with fused orbs during a flyby, while the Psyche spacecraft explored a metal-rich asteroid for six years. Virgin Galactic, backed by Richard Branson, launched tourists, boosting space tourism. SpaceX and Blue Origin supported private space travel.
The James Webb Space Telescope’s first year was marked by breathtaking photographs of the Crab Nebula and Earth’s closest star-forming zone. It also helped find the oldest black hole, produced 470 million years after the Big Bang. The Hubble Space Telescope continued to create stunning photographs, continuing its space exploration legacy.
Solar Eclipse Spectacles and Celestial Advancements: Highlights of America’s Space Fascination in 2023
America was intrigued by solar eclipses, with a “ring of fire” eclipse in October leading up to a total eclipse in April. The “Ring of Fire” eclipse covered Oregon, Texas, and Central and South America. A total solar eclipse on April 8 is expected across Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, the Midwest, upstate New York, New England, and Canada.
Lunar exploration, rocket technology, asteroid expeditions, space tourism, astronomical discoveries, and solar eclipses advanced in 2023, paving the way for future excitement and discovery.