With the launch of successful missions, NASA now entering 60 in this new year. In this special year, NASA announced a mission “2018 to do list” for launching some important missions.
NASA 2018 missions
TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)
TESS, the NASA’s next exoplanet-hunting spacecraft will look for planets as they pass in front of distant stars. But, TESS will study stars throughout the entire night sky, expanding Kepler’s limited range.
The plan is for TESS to find the closest rocky exoplanets to Earth. The spacecraft may launch earlier March are later than June.
April – November: commercial crew test flights
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, the space agency’s initiative to launch astronauts on privately made spacecraft. SpaceX and air craft manufacturer Boeing combines to develop capsules to carry passengers to the space station.
SpaceX going to test flight of the Dragon capsule in April. While, Boeing targeting August for an uncrewed flight of the Starliner and a crewed flight for November.
May- launch of NASA insight mars lander
NASA’s insight spacecraft is designed to study the interior of the Red Planet. Originally, the lander was launch in 2016, but the mission delayed after a leak in spacecraft.
Now the spacecraft is nearly ready to launch. It should land on Mars around seven months later, on November 26th.
July – August: NASA’s parker solar probe
According to NASA, the robotic spacecraft “Parker Solar Probe” is planned for dispatch in 2018 to investigate the Sun’s external environment.
The aim of the mission is to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind also solar energetic particles.
August: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrives at an asteroid
In 2016, NASA launched OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, for studying the samples of an asteroid named Bennu. The journey of the spacecraft takes about two years.
Finally, the spacecraft arrive at the asteroid in August 2018, coming within 1.2 million miles of the rock. The onboard engines in spacecraft will move closer and fly information with the asteroid.