From 2017 through till 2025, there are no shortage of exciting space missions lead by NASA, ESA, JPL, and JAXA. Future space missions will take us to the moon (not “us”, but a a lander to collect a sample); the Sun; Jupiter and its mood, Europa; Mars and its moon, Phobos; and the asteroid Bennu. Other missions will discover new exoplanets and learn more about other, while others will peer into deep space to uncover the secrets of dark matter and energy.
It is truly a golden age for astronomy. Take a look at this infographic which summarizes future space missions (click on it to see a larger, more legible version).
If you ever have the opportunity to take part in a launch event for any of these missions… take it. I was fortunate enough to be in Cape Canaveral for the SpaceX ISS Resupply Mission, which launched on July 18, 2016 and captured it on video.
The video doesn’t do it justice – it doesn’t capture the light or sound very well (using an iPhone, anyways).
The explosion of light and sound is awe inspiring. Watching the rocket launch itself into space… seeing the Dragon capsule detach… and eventually the return of the Falcon 9 rocket to land successfully is a marvel of engineering.
SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch as seen from Cocoa Beach, Florida (Cape Canaveral)
SpaceX Falcon 9 Landing as seen from Cocoa Beach, Florida (Cape Canaveral)