The coming year promises to be another step in the expansion of the presence of private companies in space and the development of space tourism. Spacecraft developers, space tourism companies, start-ups and manufacturers of high-tech equipment have many assignments and events planned for 2022. But the more actively the commercialization of outer space is underway, the more urgent the issue of regulating this space, and this task will also be solved this year .
SpaceX will launch its Starship rocket into Earth’s orbit for the first time, Blue Origin will send new tourists into space, Virgin Galactic plans to do the same, Boeing will invest in its Starline spacecraft and Alexa will be used in NASA’s mission to fly around the moon. Many other tasks are planned for this year. CNN covered space plans.
Elon Musk company profile SpaceX prepares for a significant event: the first test launch of a Starship rocket into Earth’s orbit.
The company promises that the rocket will be more powerful than all those that have so far been launched into space, including the super-heavy Saturn-5 rocket, which once carried more than 140 tons of payload in low orbit around the earth.
It’s true, as CNN notes, SpaceX will not be able to do this until March, as public discussions that began last year until February 28 extended to the possible negative consequences for the ecology of space launches from a space center on the Texas coast. will continue. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which began the discussions, notes that there have been so many comments and opinions on this issue that the summary has been postponed until the end of February.
At the same time, SpaceX continues to successfully collaborate with NASA. Last year, the company launched a group of astronauts to the ISS, which will return to Earth in April, and at the same time a new crew of four will be sent to the ISS on the SpaceX Dragon ship. And since NASA has given SpaceX permission to sell tickets on this ship to anyone willing to pay, Elon Musk’s company plans to do so as early as this year – given last year’s experience of sending a crew of three businessmen to the ISS and returning to Earth and a former astronaut.
Business Boeingwhich is also developing a manned spacecraft that can deliver astronauts to the ISS, and perhaps even space tourists, plans to conduct the first tests in May 2022. It is true that they will pass without a crew, and only if Boeing succeeds in solving it. currently a number of technical issues with its device (it is called Starline), which were identified last year.
Jeff Bezos Blue Company origin, whose spaceship made a successful suborbital flight last year with Mr. Bezos himself on board, has completed two more similar missions over the past six months: one with Star Trek star William Shatner, the other with Good Morning America host Michael Strayhan and the astronaut. Alan Shepard’s daughter Laura. Blue Origin is planning the same packed schedule of space excursions for this year.
Virgin Galactic is closely committed to improving its Unity 22 spacecraft, which also made a successful flight in July 2021 with Richard Branson on board, but as it turned out later, during this flight, the spacecraft spent 41 seconds off the intended runway.
The FAA conducted its review, which authorized Virgin Galactic to continue such flights.
However, Richard Branson’s company has postponed commercial space travel to the third quarter of 2022.
As planned, in March this year, a mission will go around the moon NASA Artemis 1. The mission is unmanned, but the Orion spacecraft will carry a “virtual astronaut” – an interactive tablet with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and Cisco’s WebEx teleconferencing platform. One of the goals of this mission is to determine how virtual assistants will behave in space.
At the same time, in the midst of thriving commercial space exploration, concerns are growing that there are too many things in Earth’s orbit: satellites, functioning and out of order, space stations, rockets, debris, etc.
In recent times, falls have become more common when these objects are on the verge of a collision or even collide, and failed rockets fall uncontrollably to the ground.
Until now, this sphere has only been regulated by the 1967 Space Treaty, which has so far been signed and ratified by 111 states.
As pointed out by CNN, the UN has long worked on the issue of modernizing the treaty and the agreements that govern the use of space. And last year, this hitherto unsuccessful work gained new momentum. In November, a working group was set up to assess “current and future threats to space operations, determine when behaviors in space can be considered irresponsible and make recommendations on possible norms, rules and principles for responsible behavior in space.” The hope is that this work will bear fruit this year.