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List of the upcoming space missions and events

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List of the upcoming space missions and events


  • November – (Rosetta) – ESA mission reaches Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
  • November – (Philae) – ESA Rosetta Lander touches down on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
  • Virgin Galactic will begin scheduled flights of SpaceShipTwo to sub-orbit.


  • February 1 – (Dawn) – NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will enter orbit around Ceres), the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet.
  • May – The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch an orbiter towards Venus.
  • July 14 – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will arrive at Pluto, becoming the first spacecraft to flyby the dwarf planet and also returning the first close-up images of this distant world and its moons.
  • August 15 – BepiColombo – Launch of ESA and ISAS Orbiter and Lander Missions to Mercury)
  • October – The Google Lunar X Prize may be won by Astrobotic Technology, who has a contract with SpaceX to use one of their rockets to take a lunar rover to the Moon.
  • The ESA’s Don Quijote) spacecraft will launch, a mission to impact an asteroid and study the change in its trajectory to see if such a method could be used to deflect an asteroid away from Earth.
  • China will land its unmanned Chang’e 4 spacecraft on the Moon.
  • Russia is expected to land two unmanned probes on the Moon, Luna-Glob 1 and 2.


  • March – NASA’s next Mars lander, InSight, will launch to the Red Planet to study beneath the surface using a drill.
  • The first part of the ESA’s ExoMars mission, the Trace Gas Orbiter (to study the atmosphere) and the EDM lander (to test landing technologies), will launch to Mars.
  • September – NASA will launch its own asteroid sample return mission, called OSIRIS-REx.
  • Bearing the same name as its successful probes in the 60s, 70s and 80s, Russia will launch a new orbiter called Venera-D to Venus.
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft will complete its first flight, launching on an Atlas V rocket.
  • NASA’s solar powered Juno) spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter.
  • The The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will land its Chandrayaan-2 rover on the Moon, in tandem with a lunar orbiter.


  • July – The ESA’s new solar orbiter, SOLO, will launch to the Sun.
  • December – First flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, taking the (Orion) spacecraft on an unmanned flight around the Moon.
  • China will launch another mission to the Moon, Chang’e 5, this time with the goal of returning lunar samples to Earth.



  • A proposed NASA telescope called EXCEDE (Exoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer) will launch to observe planet formation around nearby stars.


  • The ISS will be decommissioned and de-orbited at some point after 2020.
  • Russia will launch an orbiter, lander and rover to the Moon on the Luna-Grunt 1 mission.


  • Russia’s next lunar lander, *Luna-Grunt 28, will return samples to Earth.
    NASA’s (Orion) spacecraft will fly with a crew for the first time, possibly taking astronauts to visit an asteroid.



  • Solar Probe Plus will fly into the Sun’s atmosphere (or corona) for the first time.


  • April 5 – Pluto – is passed by Neptune in distance from the Sun for the next 20 years.



  • Voyager 2 passes within 4.3 light years of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.



  • Estimated lifespan of the two Voyager Golden Records, before the information stored on them is rendered unrecoverable.



Written by filippo

18 November 2014 at 12:09 am

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