The Biggest Spaceflight Stories Of 2017

Space is the final frontier as it was narrated famously in Star Trek. But every journey towards the world that lies beyond the earth’s surface has a unique story of its own. Some stories are especially worth talking about and remembering for years to come.

These are last year’s most talked about stories:

Cassini saying farewell

Photo via. The New Yorker

NASA’s spacecraft Cassini that was orbiting around Saturn for around 13 years finally said its farewell to everyone after plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere and being obliterated. Over the course of 13 years, Cassini helped scientists to understand that there could be a possible existence of other life forms.

When Cassini was finally running out of fuel, its mission managers wanted to dispose of the spacecraft and so it had to be let go of.

Private spaceflight made big strides

There were 18 private space missions that took off last year. SpaceX founder Elon Musk directed these missions and they were a huge success. His plan to colonize Mars in the near future took a boost from these space missions as he unveiled his new plans in the September conference.

Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin space travel service also started its New Shepard suborbital vehicle.

Orbital ATK also made some space missions that landed on the International Space Stations.

American astronauts going back to the moon

Photo via. Wired

On December 11, Donald Trump signed an agreement that granted permission to NASA to send American astronauts back to the moon. Previously Obama had ordered the astronauts to head to the nearest asteroid of the earth, but this new agreement was a leap towards Mars.

North Korea tested intercontinental ballistic missiles

North Korea’s missile program stirred up quite a storm. And for good reason, of course! The nuclear nation test-flew some missiles thrice last year which showed that they will be able to hit the US. It was a warning that raised alarms in the American Government. It is not clear if they have all the ICBM technology yet.

Peggy Whitson broke U.S. spaceflight record

Photo via. Public Radio International

This news is for breaking yet another glass ceiling! Last year, Peggy Witson became the first ever astronaut and woman to spend the most amount of time in space. Her record of staying 534 days was a commendable one.

Her last record was staying 288 days in space making her total time in space to be 665 days. This is more than any other astronaut ever from any country.

NASA chose new astronauts

Last year NASA revealed its 12 newest astronauts out of a pool of over 18,000 candidates. These 12 astronauts included 7 men and 5 women that are going to be in a 2-year rigorous training program before heading off for their space missions.

Space really is a place full of discoveries and who knows what other exciting news and discoveries will we make in the near future.