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Soyuz space rocket launch. Space jellyfish in sky. Plume of rocket gases in sun at dawn.

2023’s Coolest Moments Like a Movie

2023 was a huge year for space stuff, with tons of exciting moments that felt like they were straight out of a sci-fi movie. We saw big booms on Mars missions, awesome asteroid discoveries, new steps in moon trips, and even people taking joyrides into space!

Lunar surface

Mars: Big Plans and Big Booms

Explosions on the Way to Mars

SpaceX’s Starship, the big rocket planned to take people to Mars, blew up twice this year. But don’t worry, that’s part of the plan. They’re learning from these explosions to make the rocket better and safer. The dream is to get people living on Mars, and Starship is super important for that.

Digging into Space Mysteries

Bringing Back Bits of an Asteroid

The OSIRIS-REx mission was a big deal because it brought back samples from an asteroid called Bennu. This is like getting a peek into what the early solar system was like and could even tell us about how life started. Robots in space are doing some pretty cool science for us!

Moon Missions: Robots and People Getting Busy

The Race to the Moon is On

2023 was all about getting back to the moon. India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission and other projects from around the world focused on the moon’s south pole. This place might be where future astronauts land, so everyone wants to know what’s there.

Next Stop: A Human Flyby of the Moon

NASA’s getting ready to send people around the moon with Artemis II, planned for 2024. This is like a practice run for setting up bases on the moon and eventually heading to Mars. The moon is our stepping stone to deeper space.

Space Tourism: No Longer Just a Dream

Now regular people (well, really rich ones) can go to space, thanks to companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. It’s not just about the cool factor; this is starting a whole new space travel industry.

What’s Up with UFOs?

NASA started talking about UFOs (or UAPs as they call them) for real. They’re looking into these weird sightings with science, trying to figure out what’s going on. It’s all about getting rid of the mystery and understanding these strange things people are seeing.

So, 2023 was pretty wild for space travel. We’re making mistakes but learning a lot, getting bits of space rock, planning moon trips, and even taking tourists into space! It’s like living in the future.

Lunar eclipse

FAQ: All About 2023’s Space Adventures

What happened with SpaceX’s Starship?

SpaceX’s Starship had a couple of big explosions this year. But that’s part of their plan to test and improve the rocket. They’re learning from these mistakes to make it safe for people to travel to Mars someday.

Why are asteroid samples important?

Samples from asteroids like the ones brought back by the OSIRIS-REx mission give scientists a closer look at materials from the early solar system. This can help us understand how planets formed and maybe even how life started on Earth.

What’s the big deal about the moon all of a sudden?

In 2023, there was a lot of action with missions to the moon, especially focusing on its south pole. Countries and companies are interested because it’s a good place for future astronaut missions and it’s great for testing technology for even longer space trips, like to Mars.

When are people going back to the moon?

NASA’s Artemis II mission, happening in 2024, is a crewed flyby of the moon. It’s a big step towards sending astronauts back to the moon’s surface and setting up long-term bases there.

Can I really go to space as a tourist?

Yes! If you have a lot of money, companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin offer short trips to the edge of space. It’s still early days, but space tourism is becoming a real thing.

What’s NASA doing about UFOs?

NASA is taking a scientific approach to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), which most people know as UFOs. They’re studying sightings and trying to understand them better, moving away from conspiracy theories to more science-based explanations.

Sources CNN