veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

NASA takes space-exploration to new heights

2023 Recap of NASA’s discoveries and journeys
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NASA/CXC/SAO/J
Well-known supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A)

Have you ever looked at the night sky and mistaken a shooting star for a passing plane? Unaware that thousands of miles beyond the plane, above the Earth’s orbit, are the rovers and spaceships NASA sent out decades ago, looking for solutions to endless answers.

The galactical search will never cease to end. As our technology keeps advancing, so does the universe in our lens.  

To celebrate the astronomers, scientists, and adventurers of our day, here’s a brief recap of some significant findings in 2023:

James Webb Space Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope pictured during one of its final tests in April, 2021. (Northrup Grumman)

After 20 years and seven more of delay, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched on Dec. 25, 2021. The JWST is currently circulating milky galaxies to take high-quality pictures and re-establish our previous understanding of cosmic history. By scavenging the depths of space, the JWST tries to look back on how our galaxies started after the Big Bang. 

The telescope is unique from others as it orbits the Sun 1.5 million miles away from Earth.

In 2023, the JWST made eight discoveries ranging from spotting six new galaxies dating back to 500 million years after the Big Bang to identifying possible signs of extraterrestrial life. 

Check the pictures the JWST has captivated.

Psyche Launch, journey to a metal world  

An illustration of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft as it approaches its namesake iron-rich asteroid target. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)

The Psyche Launch is set to locate a unique asteroid named Psyche, which is 99% larger than most asteroids and around the same surface area as Maryland; it is built mainly of metal and is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is possible the asteroid was part of a bigger planet, linking back to another unknown Earth.

Launched on Oct. 13, 2023, from the Kennedy Space Center, NASA is acting outside the box with this launch. This is their first mission analyzing an asteroid composed of more metal than any other material. 

The launch is more significant than just decoding an asteroid; it also proves the pioneering technology NASA has harnessed. NASA will test its laser communications with the Deep Space Optical Communications technology attached to the spacecraft.

The Psyche spacecraft is calculated to arrive at its designated asteroid in 2029; then, it will orbit the metal chunk for about two years.

Check the current location of the spacecraft. 

International Space Station: 25 years in low Earth orbit

While humans deal with our earthly problems, a handful of astronauts are floating above us in the International Space Station. 

The space station celebrates its 25th anniversary of operations in 2023; 273 people from 21 countries have performed, tested, and created new technologies for both space and Earth inside this station. 

More than 3,300 informative investigations have been overseen in the space station. The space station has also been a testing ground for the upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon and future human exploration of Mars. 

Space exploration has taken us farther than we ever expected. Where will it take us next?


Are you interested in learning more?

James Webb Space Telescope – 8 stunning James Webb Space Telescope discoveries made in 2023

Psych Launch – Asteroid Psyche

International Space Station – About International Space Station, 25th Anniversary of Space Station

More 2023 discoveries – Breaking Records, Returning Asteroid Samples Among
NASA’s Big 2023 by NASA

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About the Contributor
Justine Picard, Senior Staff Writer

Class of 2026

Justine has been part of the Talon staff for 2 years. She has previously served as a Senior Staff Writer and enjoys writing news and graphic design pieces.

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  • Mark AddisonFeb 27, 2024 at 9:26 am

    Stay the course with your writings. Great job and want to wish you continued success!

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