Spacecraft in News 2023: Space Current Affairs

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In this blog, we will take a look at some of the latest news about spacecraft in 2023. We will discuss new missions, discoveries, and events that have shaped the year in space exploration. We will also explore the latest science and technology related to spacecraft, and discuss how these advances are helping us to better understand our place in the universe.

Spacecraft in News October, November, and December 2023

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently launched the ‘Psyche Spacecraft’ to an interplanetary transfer orbit. This marks the agency’s first mission aimed at studying an asteroid that is composed predominantly of metal rather than rock or ice.
  • Furthermore, the Lucy spacecraft, also launched by NASA, has revealed that the small main belt asteroid Dinkinesh is, in fact, a binary pair.
  • In another development, NASA’s ESCAPADE (Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers) spacecraft is set to take off on Blue Origin’s New Glenn launch vehicle. The primary objective of the mission is to study the planet Mars.

Spacecraft in News September 2023

Aditya L1

  • India’s ambitious space mission, Aditya L1, is ready to embark on an extraordinary journey to study the Sun’s ever-changing behavior and how it affects Earth’s climate.
  • The spacecraft, named after the Hindu Sun God, Aditya, is planned to be launched in 2023 and will be placed in a special orbit around a stable point between the Sun and Earth, called the Sun-Earth Lagrange point 1 (L1).
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Spacecraft ‘SLIM’

  • The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), a groundbreaking spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), is venturing through space, ready to transform lunar exploration with its exceptional ability to land precisely on the Moon’s surface, opening up new possibilities for future missions to our celestial neighbor.

Spacecraft in News January to August 2023

India achieved a remarkable feat by safely landing its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the moon’s south pole. The scientific community anticipates utilizing water resources at the South Pole for future space missions, laying the foundation for extended explorations within the solar system and the eventual establishment of moon-based settlements.

▪ The Luna 25 mission, conducted by Roscosmos in August 2023, aimed to land near the lunar south pole, close to the Boguslawsky crater. However, the mission unfortunately failed.

Apollo 7’s last surviving astronaut, Walter Cunningham has passed away at the age of 90. He, along with Walter Schirra and Donn Eisele became the first human test flight of the Apollo
spacecraft.

ROSCOSMOS has announced to launch of a new MS-23 Soyuz spacecraft for the International Space Station. The spacecraft is scheduled to launch on March 14, 2023.

▪ A team of Indian scientists has discovered evidence of solitary waves around Mars by analyzing the data recorded by the MAVEN spacecraft. MAVEN was launched by NASA in 2013 to study the Martian atmosphere and its evolution.

▪ The European Union has announced to launch of its JUICE Spacecraft in April 2023 to explore the moons of Jupiter. JUICE stands for Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer.

▪ The Geotail spacecraft has signed off after 30 years in orbit. It was jointly launched by NASA and JAXA in 1992 to study the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Russia has launched an uncrewed Soyuz spacecraft on a rescue to the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft is carrying supplies and equipment to the ISS crew.

▪ The Magellan spacecraft has revealed the images of Venus’ surface, indicating the presence of active volcanoes. Magellan was launched by NASA in 1989 to map the surface of Venus.

▪ The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is in the final stage of its journey back to Earth after collecting samples from the asteroid Bennu. OSIRIS-REx was launched by NASA in 2016.

China has launched the Shenzhou 16 spacecraft carrying its first civilian astronaut into space. The spacecraft is carrying three astronauts, including a woman named Wang Yaping.

▪ The International Conference on Spacecraft Mission Operations 2023 (SMOPS-2023) will be held in Bengaluru, India. The conference will bring together experts from around the world to discuss the latest advances in spacecraft mission operations.

▪ The European Space Agency (ESA) has celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Mars Express spacecraft. Mars Express is a robotic spacecraft that has been studying Mars since 2003.

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