2020s in spaceflight

Summary

2020s in spaceflight
Orion visiting Deep Space Gateway.jpg
NASA plans to assemble a Lunar Gateway as a permanent base in lunar orbit during the 2020s.

This article documents expected notable spaceflight events during the 2020s.

Overview

The trend towards cost reduction in access to orbit is expected to continue. In 2021 SpaceX plans to launch its new fully reusable Starship to orbit[1] and Vulcan is planned to replace its more expensive predecessors. Ariane 6 is expected to replace the more expensive Ariane 5 in early 2022, and Blue Origin plans the maiden flight of New Glenn with a reusable first stage in late 2022.

Mars stays a focus for missions to other planets, with three missions launched in 2020 (by China, the United Arab Emirates and the United States) and at least two missions planned for 2022 (ESA and Japan) and 2024 (India and Japan), respectively.

NASA plans a return of humans to the Moon by 2024. A first uncrewed launch of the Space Launch System is planned for November 2021, followed by a first crewed launch in 2023. In addition NASA plans to assemble the Lunar Gateway in lunar orbit. A crewed exploration of Mars could follow in the mid 2030s. An uncrewed and then a crewed trip to Jupiter and Europa have been commonly contemplated, but no space agencies or companies have yet announced definite plans to launch a crewed mission further than Mars. SpaceX, a private company, has also announced plans to land humans on Mars in the mid-2020s, with the long-term goal of enabling the colonization of Mars.

India plans its first crewed flight with a spacecraft called Gaganyaan on a home-grown GSLV Mark III rocket in 2023. The mission would make India the 4th nation to launch a crewed spaceflight after Russia, US and China. India also plans to launch its second Mars probe, Mars Orbiter Mission 2 (Mangalyaan 2), in 2024.

The number of small satellites launched annually was expected to grow to around one thousand (2018 estimate),[2] although SpaceX alone plans to launch more than that for its Starlink constellation (12,000 satellites from 2019 to 2027).[3] The majority of the satellites are expected to be communication satellites in large constellations. In 2020, over 800 Starlink satellites were launched to orbit.

Orbital launches by year

2020–26

2027

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2027 (TBD)[4][5] Russia Angara A5 / DM-03 Russia Vostochny Site 1A Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luna 28 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander
Lunar sample return
 
2027 (TBD)[6] Russia Angara A5P Russia Vostochny Site 1A Russia Roscosmos
Russia Orel Roscosmos Low Earth Crewed flight test  
2027 (TBD)[7][8] Europe Ariane 64 France Kourou ELA-4 France Arianespace
Europe Heracles EL3 ESA Selenocentric Lunar lander  
First flight of the HERACLES lunar transport system.
2027 (TBD)[9] Japan H3 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y2 Japan MHI
Japan LiteBIRD[10] JAXA Sun–Earth L2 Space observatory  
2027 (TBD)[11] China Long March 5 China Wenchang LC-1 China CASC
China Chang'e 8 CNSA Selenocentric Lunar lander  
2027 (TBD)[12] Europe Vega-C France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe CRISTAL (Sentinel-9) ESA Low Earth (Polar) Earth observation  
Part of the European Space Agency's Copernicus Programme.
2027 (TBD)[13] United States TBA United States TBA United States TBA
United States Axiom Power Tower (AxPT) Axiom Space Low Earth (ISS) ISS assembly / Commercial habitat  
Fourth Axiom module. The addition of this module will enable the Axiom Orbital Segment to separate from the ISS and operate as an independent space station.
2027 (TBD)[15] United States TBA United States TBA United States TBA
United States Dragonfly NASA Heliocentric (to Saturn) Exploration of Titan  
Rotorcraft probe to fly in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.[14]
2027 (TBD)[16] United States TBA United States TBA United States TBA
United States JPSS-3 NOAA Low Earth (SSO) Meteorology  
2027 (TBD)[17] TBA TBA TBA
Europe ESPRIT Refueling Module (ERM) ESA Selenocentric (NRHO) Lunar Gateway component  

2028

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2028 (TBD)[18] Russia Angara A5 / KVTK[19] Russia Vostochny Site 1A Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luna 29 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar rover
Lunar sample return
 
2028 (TBD)[20] Europe Ariane 62 or Vega-C[21] France Kourou ELA-4 or ELV France Arianespace
Europe ROSE-L (Sentinel-12) ESA Low Earth (Polar) Earth observation  
Part of the European Space Agency's Copernicus Programme.
2028 (TBD)[22] Europe Vega-C France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe CIMR (Sentinel-11) ESA Low Earth (SSO) Oceanography  
Part of the European Space Agency's Copernicus Programme.
2028 (TBD)[23][24] Russia Yenisei Russia Vostochny PU3 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Orel Roscosmos Low Earth Flight test  
First flight of the Yenisei super heavy-lift launch vehicle.

2029

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2029 (TBD)[25][26] Europe Ariane 62 France Kourou ELA-4 France Arianespace
Europe ARIEL ESA Sun–Earth L2 Exoplanetary science  
Europe Japan Comet Interceptor ESA / JAXA Sun–Earth L2 Comet flyby  
2029 (TBD)[22] Europe Vega-C France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe CHIME (Sentinel-10) ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Part of the European Space Agency's Copernicus Programme.
2029 (TBD)[22] Europe Vega-C France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe LSTM (Sentinel-8) ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Part of the European Space Agency's Copernicus Programme.
2029 (TBD)[6] Russia Yenisei Russia Vostochny PU3 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Orel Roscosmos Lunar free-return Crewed lunar flyby  
Crewed lunar flyby in preparation for a Russian crewed mission to the lunar surface in 2030.


Deep-space rendezvous after 2026

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
December 2027 Hayabusa2 Flyby of Earth[27] Gravity assist
June 2028 Hayabusa2 Flyby of Earth[27] Gravity assist



References

  1. ^ Henry, Caleb (28 June 2019). "SpaceX targets 2021 commercial Starship launch". SpaceNews. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Smallsat Growth On Shaky Foundations". Northern Sky Research. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  3. ^ Henry, Caleb (26 April 2019). "FCC OKs lower orbit for some Starlink satellites". SpaceNews. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Россия планирует доставить образцы лунного грунта на Землю в 2027 году" [Russia plans to deliver lunar soil samples to Earth in 2027]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). 29 January 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Роскосмос потратит 594 миллиона рублей на проект станции "Луна-28"" [Roscosmos will spend 594 million rubles on the Luna-28 project]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). 1 February 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Определен срок полета российского корабля "Орел" с экипажем на МКС" [The scheduled time for the first crewed flight of the Russian spacecraft Orel to the ISS has been determined]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). 13 February 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Airbus selected for ESA's Moon lander study". Airbus (Press release). 14 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Helping Heracles EL3 to survive the long, cold, dark nights on the Moon". ESA. 6 December 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Space Satellite 'Litebird'". University College London. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Instrumentation | LiteBIRD: Lite (Light) satellite for the studies of B-mode polarization and Inflation from cosmic background Radiation Detection". High Energy Accelerator Research Organization. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  11. ^ "嫦娥四号着陆器、巡视器互拍成像图" [Chang'e 4 Lander, Rover Images] (in Chinese). 12 January 2019. Archived from the original on 15 April 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019 – via AcFun.
  12. ^ Parsonson, Andrew (23 September 2020). "Airbus signs $350 million contract to build CRISTAL ice-monitoring satellite for EU". SpaceNews. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  13. ^ @Axiom_Space (30 November 2020). "The Axiom Power Tower's solar array, expanded ECLSS, and EVA airlock complete the first iteration of the Axiom Station and ready it to fly solo" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 December 2020 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Wall, Mike (27 June 2019). "NASA Is Sending a Life-Hunting Drone to Saturn's Huge Moon Titan". Space.com. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  15. ^ Foust, Jeff (25 September 2020). "NASA delays Dragonfly launch by a year". SpaceNews. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  16. ^ "JPSS-3". Earth Observing System. NASA. 11 March 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Thales Alenia Space on its way to reach the Moon". Thales Group (Press release). 14 October 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  18. ^ "Luna-29 mission may be led by robot". Hitecher. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  19. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (31 August 2019). "Russian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Contract signed for new Copernicus ROSE-L mission". ESA. 3 December 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Thales Alenia Space signs contract from ESA to build Copernicus ROSE-L satellite". Thales Group (Press release). 3 December 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  22. ^ a b c Parsonson, Andrew (13 November 2020). "ESA signs a trio of Copernicus contracts worth 1.3 billion euros". SpaceNews. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Russia approves conceptual design of super-heavy carrier rocket". TASS. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  24. ^ Zak, Anatoly (4 November 2019). "The Yenisei super-heavy rocket". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Ariel moves from blueprint to reality". ESA. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  26. ^ Lakdawalla, Emily (21 June 2019). "ESA to Launch Comet Interceptor Mission in 2028". The Planetary Society. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  27. ^ a b "はやぶさ2、次のミッションは小惑星「1998KY26」…JAXA". The Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). 13 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.

External links

Generic references:
RocketSunIcon.svg Spaceflight portal
  • Bergin, Chris. "NASASpaceFlight.com".
  • Clark, Stephen. "Spaceflight Now".
  • Kelso, T.S. "Satellite Catalog (SATCAT)". CelesTrak.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Chronology of Space Launches".
  • Kyle, Ed. "Space Launch Report".
  • McDowell, Jonathan. "Jonathan's Space Report".
  • Pietrobon, Steven. "Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive".
  • Wade, Mark. "Encyclopedia Astronautica".
  • Webb, Brian. "Southwest Space Archive".
  • Zak, Anatoly. "Russian Space Web".
  • "ISS Calendar". Spaceflight 101.
  • "NSSDCA Master Catalog". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • "Space Calendar". NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • "Space Information Center". JAXA.
  • "Хроника освоения космоса" [Chronicle of space exploration]. CosmoWorld (in Russian).