The first most recent of voyages was NASA’s Lucy spacecraft. The planned voyage for Lucy is 12 years, with eight asteroids being visited. Right now Lucy is sitting in orbit, waiting until 2024 when it will swing past earth with enough momentum to make it to Jupiter. It will start at an asteroid sitting between earth and Jupiter as a test run for the spacecraft. Then once it reaches Jupiter, it will chase down five asteroids orbiting the gas giant. Once done with them it must go back to earth to gain more momentum. Finally, Lucy will return to Jupiter for two final asteroids, hitting the record setting number of eight asteroids visited in 2033.
The second recent launch was Jeff Bezos’ rocket, New Shepard, which made its fifth voyage to space on October 13th. Captain Kirk from Star Trek’s actor, William Shatner, also joined the crew on their second crewed flight ever. He now holds the world record for the oldest person ever in space at 90 years old, taking this record from Wally Funk, who flew on the same rocket last July at 82 years old. The trip lasted only 11 minutes, with a mere three of those minutes being in space. Bezos has stated that his company, Blue Origin, sold approximately $100 million of tickets; however, he will not say how much a seat on New Shepard costs.
When asked for his opinion on these launches, freshman Dodge Rivadeneyra said, “I’m amazed how gravity is used to launch the shuttle and I think it’s crazy how far we’ve come so that anyone can go to space with the right amount of money.”
He is correct in both of these statements.
Looking back only ten years ago, our space faring technology was not even close to what we have now.