I think many of us will be glad to see the end of 2020 and will welcome 2021 with open arms.  But before we do, I thought it was worth looking back at some of 2020’s significant achievements in the field of space exploration – completed despite the global pandemic – as well as some of our favorite photographs of Earth taken by astronauts onboard the International Space Station.

2020’s Great achievements in space exploration

Asteroid collected and returned to Earth 

Hayabusa Asteroid Sample

Japan’s Hayabusa mission successfully collected and returned part of an asteroid to Earth. 

Chinese land rover on the Moon

Chinese Lunar Lander on the Moon

The Chinese successfully landed a rover, became the third nation to plant their flag on the Moon, and returned lunar material to Earth.

The ISS celebrates 20 years

International Space Station

The International Space Station celebrated 20 years in space.  With the first modules launched in 2000, this year marked 20 years of a continued human presence in space with a huge list of scientific achievements, and unprecedented international cooperation. 

SpaceX launch first crew

SpaceX Crew1

The SpaceX Dragon launched crew into space for the first time ever, and it was the first time in 10 years that crew had launched from US soil. 

Our favorite photographs of Earth taken by astronauts during 2020

Storm and dust clouds over the Bahamas.
Dust and storm clouds over Grand Bahama

Thunder clouds clearly visible over Grand Bahama, and the top of the photo should be open ocean, but it is obscured by Saharan dust plume that had travelled over 7,000 km. Taken in June 2020.  Read more.

Northern Europe at night
Northern Europe at night

Northern Europe at night as photographed from the International Space Station, with London, Paris and Brussels clearly visible.  And notice the difference in the lighting of roads at night in Belgium compared to France!

Comet Neowise seen in a timelapse from the International Space Station

A NASA astronaut took this time lapse sequence of the comet Neowise as it passed close to Earth in the summer 2020.

International Space Station transiting the Sun

This is not a photograph taken by an astronaut on the ISS, but was taken by my favorite new Twitter follow @AJamesMcCarthy, an astro-photographer based in the western United States.  He takes these stunning photos of space from his backyard.  Definitely worth a follow!

This image shows the International Space Station (at the top) passing in front of the Sun.

We wish you the best for 2021!

The Space Adventures’ team wishes you the best for 2021!  We have an exciting year ahead as we prepare for two clients to fly on the Soyuz to the International Space Station in December, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted of their progress.  

And please remember we are here to help you realize your own dreams of flying to space, so never hesitate to reach out – it’s never too early to start the conversation!

Ad astra.