Submission request! What’s the best thing for space exploration that will happen in 2013?

It’s near the end of 2012 and it’s been sort of a “meh” year for space exploration.  What is the most exciting thing you’re looking forward to in 2013?

3 thoughts on “Submission request! What’s the best thing for space exploration that will happen in 2013?

  1. Meh? 2012?   
    Largest ever rover landed on Mars with a revolutionary landing technique. 
    Within months, Curiosity is already finding evidence of the alluvial fan thought to exist from orbital data
    GRAIL has mapped the moons gravity field whilst letting middle school students take 115,000 pictures of the moon from the GRAIL MoonKAM project.
    First commercial demo of delivery to and return of Cargo from the International Space Station.
    First contracted commercial resupply mission for ISS. 
    Great first launch of the brand new Vega rocket.
    Launch of NuSTAR – revolutionary X-Ray telescope on a tiny budget
    Docking of Shenzhou 9 with Tiagong-1 – first time the Chinese have sent people to their first space station.
    Launch of Van Allen RBSP’s to better understand the Sun-Earth interaction and improve studies of the radiation belts and their behavior
    5 cubesats launched from ISS using the Kibo airlock – delivered via HTV3
    Cassini celebrating it’s 15th launch anniversary – still going strong at Saturn after 8 years.
    Opportunity celebrated it’s 8th Birthday at Meridiani Planum and still going strong and has found astonishing new science at Endeavour Crater
    Voyager 1 LEAVES THE FRICKIN SOLAR SYSTEM – the first time any manmade object has done that
    Exo-planets found around Binary stars – something scientists thought impossible
    A fifth moon discovered around Pluto
    Dawn completes our first ever survey of the amazing world Vesta and leaves using its Ion engine to orbit another world – a first of a kind achievement

    2012 wasn’t meh.  Not even slightly.

    2013? 2013 looks to me like it’ll suck quite a bit for exploration. I think it’ll be a year of realization…a re-learning, if you will, of just how damned hard space exploration truly is. It’ll bring about the realization that however hard we wish it would..our technology just can not support the paradigm shifting price drop in exploration people have been promising for the past 5 years or so.

    I think we’ll see the slow painful demise of several GLXP teams as the realization that none of the teams are going to get close to achieving the goals before the deadline.
    China will attempt its first lunar landing…but it wont be a success…they’ll need another go at it.
    We’ll see Virgin Galactic still not fly paying customers as we approach and pass the 9th anniversary of the SS1 X-Prize goal. 
    Stratolaunch will come to an end as Falcon 9 ramps up to start swallowing the launch manifest of non ISS payloads.
    Planetary Resources won’t meet their goal of flying a spacecraft in 2013.
    Falcon Heavy wont fly – but they’ll stack something at Vandenberg on their way to a first flight in 2014.
    Orbital may get a demo flight or two off…but they wont begin their CRS contract flights.
    We’ll see LADEE launched on its way to the moon and MAVEN on its way to Mars.Juno will do its Earth flyby ( and take cool data along the way ) to slingshot to Jupiter.  Curiosity will approach the foot of Mount Sharp to begin its science campaign in earnest.  Opportunity will announce some amazing findings regarding clays and hydrated minerals at Endeavour Crater.  


    1. “Falcon Heavy wont fly [in 2013]…” Oh, now you’ve made me cry. 😉 I *will* see a launch someday, I *will*! Maybe they’ll launch a F9 from there in 2013 instead…


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