SpaceX set to dominate extra-terrestrial travel in 2022 as new missions planned
The year 2021 saw space dominated by Russia, China, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
And it looks as if, in the case of the billionaire owner of Space X, 2022 will follow a similar pattern.
Musk's company will embark on several vital missions this year, as it plans to fly a Starship spacecraft into orbit for the first time – hopefully in March.
If everything goes to plan, then the craft will go into orbit for a brief time, before splashing down into the Pacific Ocean.
Similar to the crafts created by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, this is a test to see if operational missions could begin in 2023.
The long-term plan is to use the ship to send a manned mission to Mars before the end of the decade.
Another Space X mission will see a flight take off from its Huston-based centre, sending a private crew to the International Space Station.
This is, hopefully, launching on February 28.
The Ax-1 will have four members on-board, including former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe, according to Space.com.
It will take two days of total travel time, spending just eight days at the station.
Around 25 microgravity experiments will be carried out once on board.
Another Axiom mission will launch this year, too, but from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
This will shoot off in the Autumn, using a Falcon 9 rocket, and see five NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services payloads, and a small British rover from Spacebit attempt to land on the Moon.
And, in a historic moment, the James Webb Space Telescope, which launched on Christmas Day, will be fully operational in around six months time.
The £7 billion projects will, if all goes well, look back in time to study the universe's first stars and galaxies.
It will also attempt to look at nearby planets and look for details about how the Big Bang happened over the next five to 10 years.
Not to be outdone, Russia will be sending a mission to the moon, which has been pencilled in for July.
It will land on the moon's south pole, in order to research the exosphere in the area.
India will also be sending a test flight into space this year, with its first manned crew launching next year.
There is no word on what China has planned for space travel in 2022, but it wouldn't be too far out of the realms of possibility to see them get involved somehow.
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