Two big space missions will start this week, as Blue Origin and Nasa will attempt missions beyond Earth. While, one mission, Blue Origin will launch four with four passengers into space and will return in minutes, Nasa will launch a billion-kilometer-long Lucy mission to the Trojan asteroid swarms near Jupiter.
Blue Origin will launch on Wednesday with one of the four passengers being famed actor William Shatner. The mission was on the New Shepard spacecraft that was earlier scheduled on Tuesday but the liftoff was delayed due to strong winds in the region. The lift off is scheduled at 7 pm IST.
This comes months after ex-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos flew on the debut crewed flight to prove his company, Blue Origin system’s capabilities of launching and landing humans to and from space. Blue Origin has been working with NASA to perfect the reusable system in a bid to give competition to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The Wednesday launch will see William Shatner, 90, with Glen de Vries co-founder of Medidata Solutions, Dr Chris Boshuizen founder of PlanetLabs, and Audrey Powers strapped to the New Shepard spacecraft, which will take passengers beyond the Karaman Line (100 kilometres above Earth) for a few minutes and then will return to Earth. The crewmembers will experience weightlessness before they return.
Meanwhile, NASA’s space mission Lucy will launch on Saturday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. as it will probe the Trojan asteroid swarms around Jupiter. The Lucy mission will explore the questions in astronomy such as where did we come from and how did our universe began?
Lucy will look for answers in a debris field near Jupiter, where there are objects that are remnants of the primordial material called trojan asteroids, which formed the outer planets. According to scientists, the remnants of the early solar system are trapped by the gravitational field of Jupiter and the Sun in a pitch-perfect balancing act.