View Full Version : 2015 - A new year dawns, what expectations do you have for space exploration?

2014-Dec-14, 06:27 AM
As we close out 2014, I post an article by Phil Smith,a Senior Space Analyst with The Tauri Group based in Alexandria, Virginia,on his take on what he expected in 2014.


There is also a 60 second video by the British paper "The Telegraph" on their space highlights for this year.


I hope this thread can be a place for the rest of our forum members to include reviews of this year, as well as next years predictions.

To me, this year was packed with spectacular feats. The highlights were the little robots from different countries that captivated our attention. Topping it was Rosetta and Philae from ESA. Then we had Yutu from China though crippled managed to capture our attention with all the tweets about its conditions. Following that was MOM from India which was a treat, just to watch the reaction from around the world. We then have NASA with their countless probes all around the solar system and one that may have left it. Japan also sent a probe, Hayabusa 2, a sample return mission to asteroid 1999 JU3

The other major highlights were the new launch vehicles from India and Russia. India successfully launched their GSLV MK II at the beginning of the year. Though small in power by the standards of the other 5 major space leaders, for India it was savoring the sweet success of 20 years of R&D. For the first time they had their own cryogenic engine. This was followed by Russia who successfully launched the first test flight 0f Angara 1. 1st test flight of Angara 5 will be on Christmas day. India expects to launch their experimental mission using a Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) on the 19th of December. It will also be testing India's unmanned space capsule. China made steady progress of the Long March 5 & 7 rockets and so did the USA with their SLS.

Finish this of, by welcoming the one and only human capsule that can currently fly into BEO - NASA's Orion which had its 1st test flight in the beginning of December.

I will leave my next year's predication for a post nearer to the end of the year.

2014-Dec-20, 11:00 PM
Top NBC NEWS top 5 space stories for 2014 and top 5 space predictions for 2015.


2014-Dec-23, 02:32 AM
NASA's review of it's 2014 achievements and plans for the future. Next article is specifically about their commercial crew programme.


"We continued to make great progress on our journey to Mars this year, awarding contracts to American companies who will return human space flight launches to U.S. soil, advancing space technology development; and successfully completing the first flight of Orion, the next deep space spacecraft in which our astronauts will travel," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "We moved forward on our work to create quieter, greener airplanes and develop technologies to make air travel more efficient; and we advanced our study of our changing home planet, Earth, while increasing our understanding of others in our solar system and beyond."


NASA's Commercial Crew Program and the agency's industry partners completed 23 agreement and contract milestones in 2014 and participated in thousands of hours of technical review sessions. The sessions focused on creating a new generation of safe, reliable and cost-effective crew space transportation systems to low-Earth orbit destinations.

2014-Dec-23, 09:16 AM
An Indian assessment of their achievements in 2014 and plans for 2015.


The year 2014 could be easily said as the rocking rocketing year for India - only not for the number of rockets/satellites launched - but also on the technological front.

The Indian space agency showed the maturing of its expertise in different spheres of space technology - inter-planetary journeys, flight testing of the critical cryogenic engine, testing its heaviest rocket for its stability during the flight and taking baby steps towards space missions by humans.

"It was was was an excellent year on the technological and other fronts. The year started with the successful launch of the GSLV (geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle) rocket powered by indigenously developed cryogenic engine. We also launched two navigational satellites. We also inserted the Mars Orbiter in the Martian orbit. We also flight tested India's heaviest GSLV Mark III rocket with a crew module," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan told IANS.

2014-Dec-23, 07:06 PM
Universe today's top 10 space stories for 2014 and the Top 101 Astronomical Events to Watch for in 2015. The launch of the Angara 5 was too late to be included, otherwise I am sure it would have come up near the top.


It seems a lot of the space stories of this year involve spacecraft making journeys: bouncing across a comet, or making their way to Mars. Private companies also figure prominently, both in terms of successes and prominent failures.

These are Universe Today’s picks for the top space stories of the year.


Now in its seventh year of compilation and the second year running on Universe Today, we’re proud to feature our list of astronomical happenings for the coming year. Print it, bookmark it, hang it on your fridge or observatory wall. Not only is this the yearly article that we jokingly refer to as the “blog post it takes us six months to write,” but we like to think of it as unique, a mix of the mandatory, the predictable and the bizarre. It’s not a 10 ten listicle, and not a full-fledged almanac, but something in between.

2014-Dec-25, 03:58 AM
Another feather in the cap for India. Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is one of the 2014 top ten scientists chosen by the prestigious journal Nature.


2014-Dec-27, 01:55 PM
Well, we have had a few more successful launches since my last post, the most spectacular was the launch of the Russian Angara 5.

With that let me look into the crystal ball for 2015 and what do I see (please feel free to add other events that you see as significant or modify my suggestions)


Two probes from the USA will be the star attractions - Dawn as it meets uo with the asteroid Ceres and New Horizons as it does a flyby of Pluto.

ISS will also be in the highlights. First with an module upgrade to it from Bigelow Aerospace. It will be connected to the Tranquility node and delivered by SpaceX. The other highlight will be the stay of two astronauts for one year.


They will follow through with another launch of the Angara 5 for it to then start replacing their current range of launch rockets.

Other notable events to look out for are the launch of the solar telescope - Koronas-4-Monitor and the orbital solar observatory - MKA FKI No.5 ARKA


Highlights next year will be the launch of their new rockets. Look for the launch of their Long March 7 as well as their space tug Yuanzheng 1 in the first half of next year. In the second half of the year we will get the launch of the Long March 5 (this will be their workhorse in the coming years).

There is a strong possibility their Chang'e 4 might be launched next year to the far side of moon (the half that can not be seen from earth) and possible destination for Chang'e 5 in 2016.

Launch of their first space telescope - Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT)


All eyes will still be on Rosetta as it studies the comet. The cream on the cake will be if Philae get enough sunlight to wake up.

The other highlight for ESA will be the launch of LISA pathfinder spacecraft.


Could not find any highlights for 2015


Completion of their regional GPS with the launch of 4 more satellites.

Another launch of their GSLV MKII,

Their first satellite dedicated to astronomy - Astrosat

2014-Dec-30, 04:18 PM
ISS will also be in the highlights. First with an module upgrade to it from Bigelow Aerospace. It will be connected to the Tranquility node and delivered by SpaceX. The other highlight will be the stay of two astronauts for one year.

One of whom, Scott Kelly, is on the cover of TIME this week. He'll be compared with his identical twin Mark, a golden opportunity to investigate the effects of long-term zero-G.

2014-Dec-31, 04:34 AM
One of whom, Scott Kelly, is on the cover of TIME this week. He'll be compared with his identical twin Mark, a golden opportunity to investigate the effects of long-term zero-G.
Yes it is excellent that the US has a human benchmark to mesure the performance.

2015-Jan-01, 10:34 AM
As we enter 2015 we can look back to a very active year for rocket launches to outer space. In fact we had 92 of them. That is 11 more than the 81 we had in 2013. It has been the most active space exploration year since 1994. We should have an even better year this year.

China launched the final rocket for the year. In fact Wednesday’s launch marked the 202nd flight of the Long March Rocket Family, the 215th overall orbital launch made by China and the 15th of 2014. On the books for the next year could be over two dozen Chinese launches including the debut missions of the Long March 6, 7 and 11 launch vehicles.

Below is spaceflight101 on China's launch


2015-Jan-02, 07:26 AM
Russia says it had 38 successful space launches in 2014 (see article below). This is 6 more then they did in 2013. their most significant launch was the successful launch of Angara-A5 carrier rocket.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russia_Remains_World_Leader_in_Space_Launches_Rosc osmos_999.html

Russia carried out a total of 38 successful space launches in 2014, maintaining its first place in the world, the Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, said Tuesday.

"As a result, Russia orbited a record number of 80 satellites, including 31 for state purposes, five commercial and 44 mini-satellites," a Roscosmos spokesman told RIA Novosti.

2015-Jan-02, 07:40 AM
The "Russianspaceweb" has a summary of launches in 2014 as well as events that were supposed to happen but did not.


Things that did not happen in 2014:

A circa 2009 proposal aimed to launch the Joint Dark Energy Mission, JDEM, in cooperation between NASA and the US Department of Energy at the beginning of 2014.

According to plans made around 2011, the US-based ATK company and the European consortium Astrium (now Airbus) hoped to conduct a test launch of the Liberty launch vehicle for NASA's Commercial Crew Development program early in 2014. The project apparently never got funding.

According to original plans, on August 20, NASA's Dawn spacecraft was to enter orbit around Ceres. The mission was first delayed to 2015, then postponed indefinitely due to cost overruns in the fall of 2005. Still, it was later revived and launched, while the encounter with Ceres was rescheduled for March 2015.

On December 31, there was a last chance for a private company to claim the $15-million prize of the X-Prize Foundation for soft-landing a rover on the Moon, capable of moving and sending images back to Earth. The overhyped but unrealistic deadline was set in September 2007.

According to an unfunded proposal circa 2010, the US was to launch the Next-Generation NEAR mission as early as 2014, aiming to land on an asteroid.

According to a corporate announcement in July 2010, Bigelow and Boeing companies would start assembling a 690-cubic-meter space station in the Earth orbit in 2014.

As of 2004, NASA hoped to launch a visible-light coronagraph to search for planets outside Solar System.

A proposal in the 2009 budget request aimed to get funding for a NASA mission to send three small landers on the surface of the Moon in 2014.

In April 2010, Brazil hoped to conduct its fourth attempt to orbit a satellite with a domestically built rocket from the Alcantara launch site in 2014. As of 2004, this mission was promised in 2006.

2015-Jan-03, 08:27 AM
A nice writeup of 2014 space launches by parabolicarc


It was a banner year for launches worldwide in 2014, with the total reaching a 20-year high as Russia and India debuted new launch vehicles, NASA tested its Orion crew spacecraft, China sent a capsule around the moon, and Japan launched a spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

There were a total of 92 orbital launches, the highest number since the 93 launches conducted in 1994. In addition, Russia and India conducted successful suborbital tests of new boosters.

2015-Jan-07, 08:24 AM
2014 was a very good year for European rocket launches and they hope to meet or exceed that this year.


Europe’s Arianespace launch services provider on Jan. 6 said its record 11 launches in 2014 generated a record revenue of more than 1.37 billion euros ($1.8 billion) and that, if its rockets and satellite customers meet their commitments, 2015 should be at least as good.

The year was the first in which the long-predicted frontal competition between SpaceX and Arianespace produced its first results — a tie, at least in customer count. Each company reported nine contracts for commercial satellites heading toward geostationary orbit, the usual destination of telecommunications spacecraft.

2015-Jan-07, 09:38 AM
A month by month summary of all launches and space activities in 2014 by SpaceNews


[/QUOTE]Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and the subsequent slide in its relations with the West set the stage for a long-running drama that culminated in a congressional ban on future U.S. government use of the Russian-made RD-180 engine that powers its workhorse Atlas 5 rocket.

In between was a mix of triumph and disaster, from Europe’s landing of a probe on a distant comet to the fatal crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane.

What follows are some of the highlights and lowlights of the year now coming to a close.[/QUOTE]

2015-Jan-10, 08:21 AM
I include Emily Lakdawalla's post in the Planetary web page here. She has named 2015 "The Year of the Dwarf Planets". There is a lot happening with these small worlds and the probes exploring them. What I like best was "Olaf Frohn's diagram of active interplanetary probes". First time I have seen it. Shows at a glance all the activity going on in our solar system.


Looking ahead to what we can expect from Earth's exploration of the rest of the solar system in 2015, there's an obvious theme: Dwarf planets. Dawn enters orbit at Ceres in March, and will spend most of the rest of 2015 in a series of successively lower orbits until it finally achieves its lowest-altitude orbit in December. On July 14, New Horizons will flash past Pluto and Charon, studying two dwarf planets for the price of one. What else is going on in the solar system? As always, Olaf Frohn's diagram of active interplanetary probes helps us take it all in at a glance:

2015-Dec-17, 02:56 PM
As we come to the end of the year, l dug up this thread that had our pridictions for this year. Yes it was the year of the minor planets and the rockets for China and India got delayed another year.

Enjoy the look back and I will start a new thread for next year soon (others might want to start it sooner - feel free to do so )

Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

2016-Jan-07, 01:20 AM
I just got the word from Nature....

"Space missions, carbon capture, and gravitational waves are set to shape the year."