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2018

James Webb Space Telescope
October

A collaborative project between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency, the James Webb Space Telescope will be 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope. With its main mirror measuring 6.5 meters (21 ft) in diameter, the JWST will have 70 times the light-gathering capacity of the Hubble, enabling it to peer back in time to about 200 million years after the Big Bang.

Links:

  1. James Webb Space Telescope
  2. NASA Next Generation Telescope Is Complete   11.02.2016
  3. JWST's Assembled Golden Mirror   05.05.2016
  4. Seeing Beyond - The JWST   2013

James Webb Space Telescope

Illustration of the James Webb Space Telescope - Image credit: NASA

Solar Orbiter
October

The launch of the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter spacecraft, originally planned for 2017, has been re-scheduled for October 2018.

Part of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Programme, the Solar Orbiter will carry a suite of ten state-of-the-art instruments to study the Sun in unprecedented detail, particularly its turbulent surface and high-speed, ever-changing solar wind.

According to ESA, the reason for delaying the launch is to make sure that all of the spacecraft's instruments are adequately tested on the ground, thus ensuring that the objectives of the mission are ultimately reached.

ESA's Solar Orbiter

Illustration of ESA's Solar Orbiter - Image credit: ESA





Space Launch System
November

NASA's Space Launch System, the super-rocket being developed to make deep space missions feasible by carrying heavier payloads into higher orbits, should be ready for its first (unmanned) test launch in 2018, if there are no delays in its construction schedule. Being assembled by Boeing, Space Launch System will be the largest rocket ever built, standing a total of 384 feet (117 meters) when carrying the Orion space capsule being developed by Lockheed Martin.

Technical specifications:

Length: 212 ft (64.6 m)
Diameter: 27.6 ft (8.4 m)
Empty Weight: 188,000 lbs (85,275 kg)
Material: Aluminum 2219
Engines: 4 RS-25
Thrust per engine: 512,000 lbs (232,242 kg)
Max. power level: 109% of rated thrust
Fuel: Liquid hydrogen
Oxidizer: Liquid oxygen

Links:

  1. Beyond Earth: Space Launch System   Boeing
  2. Space Launch System   Boeing
  3. New NASA video about the SLS   04.14.2016
  4. The Path To Mars   12.04.2014   Boeing
  5. NASA's Huge New SLS Rocket   10.30.2012

Space Launch System

Illustration of Space Launch System - Image credit: NASA









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