My predictions for 2022.
At least one of the following gets its first orbital launch (or in the case of Starliner 'first crewed orbital launch') delayed to 2023 or later. Also, at least one of those in the list below, that is launched, has a less than successful mission (as defined by the launch provider.) QuoteArianespace's Ariane 6 - ESA since June 2022 has been targeting first Ariane 6 launch in 2023Blue Origin's New Glenn - Blue Origin admitted their first launch would not be before 2023SpaceX's Starship - Possible (likely) launch in 2022United Launch Alliance Vulcan-Centaur - Launch NET December 2022SLS - Launch scheduled between August 29 and September 3 2022First launch of the Gaganyaan 1 capsule preparing for future crewed flights from India. Delayed to 2023Boeing Starliner crewed test - Launch NET January 2023At least one company that has successfully launched an orbital launch vehicle by the end of 2021 is projected by the end of June to set a new company record in terms of successful launches. SpaceX's Falcon 9 beat its launch record set in 2021 of 31 launches in 29 weeks. That same company would fail to meet those mid-year expectations. To early to tell about this one. Could be close.At least one launch vehicle that has more than 20 consecutive successful launches will have a less than successful launch, possibly without a loss of payload. While not a launch failure, on Feb 3 SpaceX deployed 49 Starlink satellites. Due to a solar storm hitting Earth Feb 4, 38 if those satellites were brought down by atmospheric drag.Could otherwise still happen.SpaceX will lose at least one Falcon 9 booster on landing. This was not intended to count boosters intentionally expended. While a booster loss could still happen, currently 60+ consecutive booster landings going back to 2021 since last landing failure.A Falcon 9 booster will reach 15 landings. Three boosters are at 13 landings, two have reached 10 landings by mid August. Goal still possible to reach in 2022.Blue Origin will sue someone. Could still happen.More than one topic started after January first 2022 will be completely off topic within a month of being started. Gimme.
Arianespace's Ariane 6 - ESA since June 2022 has been targeting first Ariane 6 launch in 2023Blue Origin's New Glenn - Blue Origin admitted their first launch would not be before 2023SpaceX's Starship - Possible (likely) launch in 2022United Launch Alliance Vulcan-Centaur - Launch NET December 2022SLS - Launch scheduled between August 29 and September 3 2022First launch of the Gaganyaan 1 capsule preparing for future crewed flights from India. Delayed to 2023Boeing Starliner crewed test - Launch NET January 2023
Starship sent to Mars
SpaceX transports crew to the ISS at least 3 times
SLS continues to be delayed
NASA Perseverance rover finds evidence of organic molecules
Rocket lab reaches orbit at least once
Virgin Galactic continues to take tourists into space
An exomoon is discovered
Earth-sized planet less than 40 light years away found with nitrogen in its atmosphere
Another Earth-size planet found in the habitable zone of a star less than 20 light years away
Water vapor found in the atmosphere of Callisto
India continues its space program with no major setbacks
China continues work on space station with no major setbacks
Quote from: scienceguy on 11/05/2021 02:42 pmNASA Perseverance rover finds evidence of organic moleculesThis didn't happen.
Quote from: scienceguy on 11/05/2021 02:42 pmAn exomoon is discoveredI don't know why I keep predicting this. It might be actually 10 years away
Quote from: scienceguy on 11/05/2021 02:42 pmEarth-sized planet less than 40 light years away found with nitrogen in its atmosphereNope.
Quote from: scienceguy on 12/01/2022 04:44 pmQuote from: scienceguy on 11/05/2021 02:42 pmAn exomoon is discoveredI don't know why I keep predicting this. It might be actually 10 years awayJan 2022 (but awaiting observations with other telescopes starting next year to verify).
Okay, here goes:Starship first orbital launch happens in March. Goes successfully until the final descent/soft landing process which isn’t so soft due to some reentry damage. By end of year 4 orbital flights are made.WRONG. I was WAY too optimistic on that. They were nowhere near ready.Artemis-1 launches in May. Successful flight of SLS/Orion, with some issues noted that will need to be fixed before crew can fly on Artemis-2.HALF RIGHT. Artemis I launched in 2022….but on November 16th.The James Webb Space Telescope successfully goes through its deployment sequence and all the effort over the years pays off with a successful instrument calibration and initial science. Hints of a groundbreaking discovery begin to show up in unofficial chatter by the end of the year.RIGHT. Looking forward to 20 years of groundbreaking discoveries.SpaceX launches 36 F9/FH missions, including 4 Falcon Heavy missions.HALF RIGHT. I was WAY too conservative on F9. And too optimistic on FH. They got 36 F9 flights….and a lot more after that! (Total for F9/FH: 61)Psyche and JUICE missions launch successfully during their windows.WRONG. Both pushed to 2023.Vulcan and Ariane 6 first flights pushed into early 2023. RIGHT. And A6 will go further than that.Late in 2022 Blue Origin finally delivers flight engines to ULA. RIGHT.New Glenn unofficially pushed back to 2026.HALF RIGHT. Latest talk is 2024.New Shepard flies three times with crew and twice with cargo, but some issues with the system cause the cadence to not be any higher.HALF RIGHT. 4 NS flights, 3 with crew. And launch failure with abort in September.Virgin Galactic finally flies SS2 again late in the year. Tourist flights pushed to 2023. HALF RIGHT. No SS2 flights. But tourist flights pushed back.A few space tourists switch from orbital to suborbital flights due to debris concerns from the Russian ASAT test.WRONG. No evidence of this.The Russian ASAT test debris forces a great deal of replanning of ISS missions and activities as well as activities of other LEO spacecraft. ISS itself escapes unscathed but at least one other important spacecraft is damaged by this debris. By end of year an official push for an ASAT test ban treaty starts. However, the ISS future is clouded and unofficial plans to move up its replacement (in a different orbit, with more shielding) are quietly started.HALF RIGHT. Soyuz MS-22 damage might be a result of MMOD. No test ban treaty push as far as I know. MMOD increasing concern for ISS program.Despite this, science on ISS will be part of a major promising discovery, which will be followed up aboard ISS and other space stations in the future.WRONG. Haven’t yet seen whispers of any major discovery, but I have no doubt it will happen in time.Boeing Starliner OFT-2 pushed to early 2023 due to major valve redesign.WRONG. OFT-2 flew successfully.At least ten crewed space flights (suborbital and orbital) are made in 2022. However, at least one major mishap will occur that would lead to an Apollo 13 type situation or worse. This will impact multiple programs and future timelines, though it will not halt all activity as human spaceflight has more alternatives and more resilience than in 1986 or 2003.HALF RIGHT. 10 crew flights for 2022 indeed. (2 Soyuz, 3 Dragon, 2 Shenzhou, 3 New Shepard). No Apollo 13 situation, but Soyuz MS-22 debris hit could lead to one if ISS has to be evacuated. China will launch its pair of modules but not everything goes swimmingly for the station program in the following months as flight problems plus threats on the ground (war, economic crisis due to Evergrande) take their toll.HALF RIGHT. Station modules were launched, no flight problems as far as I know. Zero COVID and mass protests did happen, but seems not to have affected Chinese program.One world hotspot erupts into all out war and causes serious problems with spaceflight and the world economy. The US is affected less than others, but there are still problems resulting even here.RIGHT. February 24, 2022. Ukraine.By end of year COVID pandemic FINALLY starts to show signs of abating, though progress is uneven. NASA and other agencies are able to function normally, more or less.HALF RIGHT. COVID problems in China, but NASA is back to normal.India successfully lands Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon and its rover works. By end of year first Gaganyaan test flight launches.WRONG. India’s program still suffered from COVID effects.ExoMars launches successfully and heads off to the Red Planet.WRONG. Another effect of the Ukraine War.A major discovery is made by Perseverance that will rewrite textbooks. Curiosity also finds something remarkable that will be part of that discovery.HALF RIGHT. They’ve made discoveries….not yet of the kind I was thinking about.Astra will start operational flights by end of year after successful tests. So will Firefly.HALF RIGHT. Firefly made it to orbit. But no operational flights. As far as Astra, the less said the better.Relativity first flight fails but will reach orbit by end of year.WRONG. They haven’t flown yet.Rocketlab flies six times, COVID restrictions have some effect on flight cadence. But by end of year Wallops launch site finally cleared to fly and first Electron stage successfully recovered by helicopter. HALF RIGHT. Rocketlab got 9 launches. Wallops is indeed cleared to fly. Electron stage recovered by boat after chopper had to drop it.On a personal level, I’ll finally make a long awaited launch trip. And I’ll build at least one spaceflight related model.RIGHT. But to Vandenberg, not the Cape. Last D4H West Coast launch. And built the Convair space shuttle concept by Atlantis. (Drawn up by Krafft Ehricke).
Artemis I Launches Q1 – Discover a few fixable issues for Artemis II Crew of Artemis II announced shortly after mission 0/1 - WrongStarship / Heavy Orbital Test Flight Jan 2022 Before SLS Booster crashes on Mechazilla landing / catch attempt Damage to tower and Mechazilla delays next test to Q3 Starship successful ocean landing / sink off the coast of Hawaii Has some heat shield issues that need fixing before flight two 0/2 - Wrong Second test flight Q3 Mechazilla successfully catches booster Starship second successful ocean landing / sinking 0/3 - Wrong Third Test flight Q4 Heavy Booster caught by Mechazilla Starship lands on pad in Boca Chica 0/4 - Wrong First in orbit refueling test pushed off to NET 2023Falcon-9 All missions complete success 1/5 - RightJames Webb Deploys correctly. Fully operational by end of year. 2/6 - RightHubble Space Telescope Fails for good by year end. 2/7 Wrong - glad I was wrong about thisUnited Launch Alliance Gets BE-4 flight engines by end of March 2/8 - Wrong - Blue is always slowVulcan launch success in Q4 All other launches successful 2/9 - Wrong - Blue is always slowBlue Origin New Shepherd 8 to 12 commercial flights 2/10 Wrong - didn't see abort coming throwing wrench into operations New Glenn First stage with flight engines rolled to pad in Q4 Fit checks, test electrical connections, etc. 2/11 Wrong - Always slow Second Stage Expendable Not seen in 2022 3/11 Right - Kind of Reusable Roadmap revealed Cargo version Tanker Version Crewed Version Crew size of ten to twelve To support larger crews on Orbital Reef Winged landing – Shuttle landing strip Small light wings compared to STS 3/12 - Wrong - Blue is still slow and not transparent Orbital Reef Significant redesign from first graphics 3/13 - Wrong - nothing so far Blue Moon Congress does not add funds to fully support second lander Blue continues at slower pace with National Team 3/14 - Wrong - There is funding for second HLS team to get started Virgin Galactic No longer Care 4/15 - Right - I still don't careBoeing CST-100 OFT-2 flight in early Q3 successful Crewed mission pushed to 2023 4/16 wrong - flight was ion Q2Gateway Stays on schedule for 2024 launch 2025 arrival 5/17 right - I think it still is NET Nov 2024Will still miss the way Jim Bridenstine was the face of NASA 6/18 Right - At least I miss the was Jim Bridenstine engaged with the public Bill Nelson I will admit is better than I thought he would be.
On January 1st, 2022, I tweeted a set of polls and wanted to see how well we in the spaceflight community could predict what would happen in the year forward. You did pretty decent this year! Want to participate next year? Here's the links to 2023's polls! Twitter - https://twitter.com/Erdayastronaut/status/1609557794650202112Survey Monkey - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT29GL5And here were last year's polls so you can play along and see how you did! - https://twitter.com/Erdayastronaut/st...