By Heather Durham | January 31, 2022.
Greetings fellow skywatchers! Welcome to this month’s edition of Celestial Seasonings including two important and fascinating manifestations of manmade industriousness.
In the interest of clarity, I have included two quotes. The first one on Artemis comes from Wikipedia.
The Artemis program is a United States-led international human spaceflight program. Its primary goal is to return humans to the Moon, specifically the lunar south pole, by 2025. If successful, it will include the first crewed lunar landing mission since Apollo 17 in 1972, the last lunar flight of the Apollo program.
The Artemis program began in December 2017 as the reorganization and continuation of successive efforts to revitalize the U.S. space program since 2009. Its stated short-term goal is landing the first woman on the Moon; mid-term objectives include establishing an international expedition team and a sustainable human presence on the Moon. Long-term objectives are laying the foundations for the extraction of lunar resources, and eventually, make crewed missions to Mars and beyond feasible (Wikipedia, 2021).
And the other on Axiom from a website called Inverse.com. I have also included a YouTube video for your viewing pleasure that will provide you with visual depictions of February 2022 celestial events.
AXIOM SPACE COULD create the successor to humanity’s most iconic space station. The Houston-based firm plans to fly civilians on a series of private missions to the International Space Station. These missions would act as a steppingstone to a fully-fledged, private, independent space station.
It’s a fascinating twist in the new space race, which includes private companies alongside national agencies. While most attention has gone to rocket launch companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, Axiom Space is an example of a company in another area that’s also crafting an exciting vision of humanity’s future in space.
Comments from Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos in May 2019 demonstrate why this is valuable. He explained that a company like Amazon could only emerge after the previous infrastructure was established, like the postal service and credit cards. Blue Origin, he said, would help develop the infrastructure to reach space so an imaginative entrepreneur could venture further in the future.
With Axiom Space, which depends on rocket launch companies to power its space station, that vision could take a big step forward.
The end goal is to use the private space station for commercial purposes. It could offer such amenities as a luxury hotel, a factory floor, or even a media production facility. The company’s website argues that “microgravity is the most promising environment for innovation and problem-solving since the Internet.
As NASA has only cleared the ISS for operations until 2030, it might even be a successor (Brown, 2022).
So, let’s now delve into the evening skies of February- the month of the full Snow Moon.
February 8. Today is the first quarter of the Moon.
February 9. Venus will reach its brightest as the morning or evening star. At times such as this, Venus can stand out so brightly that it may appear to shine along with our Sun and Moon. Mercury will locate to its highest point in the sky making it much more visible than it is normally.
February 11. Mercury will be at half phase. It only is visible in twilight so it might be difficult to view without equipment.
February 12. Venus reaches its highest point in the evening sky. Venus and Mars will rise to the right. This date will bring Artemis One, the first of three space flights planned for this program.
February 16. February is supposed to be the snowiest month, thus the name Snow Moon which will be full today. Mercury will be at its furthest distance from our Sun.
February 23. Today brings the last quarter of the Moon.
February 27. Today brings the right ascension of the Moon and Mars as well as the Moon and Venus. The Moon and Mars will closely approach one another.
February 28. Axiom in conjunction with Spacex will send people to space after they have completed ten days of training and paid fifty-five million dollars.
Brown, M. (2022, January 10). Axiom Space Details. Retrieved from www.inverse.com/innovation/axiom-space-details
Ford, D.F. (n.d.). 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org
Now Next. (2022, January 17). February 2022 Astronomical Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/pVhWvgGmmok
Wikipedia. (2022, January 17). Artemis. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis