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2022 Space Review


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The year 2022 has been one of the most exciting, most thrilling and most alluring time of space discovery; I wonder just how many future 'Space Engineers' will have been inspired this year and who will contribute greatly to our knowledge in the years to come. Entire books could (and I think will be) written about what was seen and/or learned this year; future historians will certainly bookmark it on their calendars.

Some (repeat, only 'some'. Damn!) of the highlights.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

What could I say that isn't immediately dwarfed by the sheer magnificence of the images?




The images above are two of my favorites.

The first is of 'Stepan's Quintet' which are five galaxies (yes, Galaxies!) which do a cosmic dance together. The second is the 'Cartwheel Galaxy' which I chose because of its beauty and symmetry. There are so many, many more images; Google is your friend.

The Artemis Moon Mission

I am very much of two minds on this. On one hand, I love any space mission and have long felt that we (humans) shouldn't have just stopped 50 years ago when we reached the moon; we'd be fifty years further ahead if we hadn't made that mistake. However, I am not terribly happy to see NASA and the US government (any government) playing a leading role; I think that the Private Sector should be taking the lead. I often refer to the Aviation and TelComs industries as models; back in the day, governments played a key role in airplanes, airports, airline regulation, airline safety, etc. which allowed the air travel industry to grow and expand, then they got out of the way and air travel was brought to the masses. The same general pattern occurred for TelComs; government built much of the early infrastructure then got out of the way, allowing for cheap international communications and the Web. I think space/space exploration should do the same; instead of NASA building rockets, sub-contract it to Space X or Boeing or Virgin or Blue Horizon or any other player, with specific requirements and get the hell out of the way.

The D.A.R.T. mission. (Damn!)

We humans altered the trajectory of an asteroid, thus providing the first time our species has done that AND we took the first step in planetary defense. Yes, more to do, especially inside Earth's orbit where we can't yet see all the dangers, but what a great first step.

Mars Mission(s)

We flew a helicopter on Mars. Damn! Moreover, we have landed on and studied another planet in our solar system, hugely increased on basic understanding of the place, and laid the ground work for future missions.

Serious study of UFOs.

This may sound like an odd entry on this list, but it seems that we humans are finally beginning to look into some of the UFO stories with a serious, critical eye; witness the release of the US Airforce tapes. I remain a hopeful skeptic as I need to see some serious evidence before I believe that we have had... ahem... 'visitors', but if we humans were looking at an alien species, we'd watch them (discretely) for a while first and I would expect any potential visitor to do the same to us. Here's hoping that they are friendly.


We now have discovered more than 5,000 Exoplanets, and with Webb, we have the ability to see into their atmospheres. What will we learn and how many more will we find? More importantly, if we have that ability, do others have the same ability? Are they watching us, thinking that those idiots on Earth are ruining their planet with too many greenhouse gases?

This post could go on for pages and pages and pages; what a GREAT year for space stuff.

Some reading...








What is your favourite Space story and why?


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Morning Space Junkies!

Yes, in the vein of my OP, there are more space 'review' stories out there at the end of the year.

CNN has an interesting article "10 moments straight out of a Sci-Fi movie" which is worth a read.


Next, Space.com has published a story about the James Webb Space Telescope's (JWST) 12 best discoveries of 2022.


Something for @Poolie; it is always good to keep an eye on the Chinese, and they do have a significant space program.


And finally, another more generic review, with video for those so inclined.

https://www.newsy.com/stories/recapping-space-advances-in-2022/#:~:text=This year in space includes,mission crashing into an asteroid.&text=Space was a busy place,the most launches%2C topping 60.

There is an old adage that 'success begets success', and given the progress that we have seen this year in furthering our knowledge of Space, imagine how we will build on it next year and in the decades to come.

"To boldly go..."

(of course I am a Trekkie; did anyone think that I wasn't?)

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