“Space: The final frontier” were the iconic words spoken by Captain James T. Kirk and Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the hit television series “Star Trek” and “Star Trek: Next Generation,” respectively, at the beginning of each episode.
While we haven’t fully reached the final frontier as described, humanity has made great strides this year in exploring the deep mysteries of space and opening doors for many.
Here are some of the top space-related stories from 2022:
Hubble vs. James Webb Telescope images: See the difference
When NASA launched the James Webb Space Telescope in December 2021, the world could only imagine the eye-popping images released the following year, and the Webb telescope did not disappoint.
According to NASA, images from the Webb telescope are the deepest and highest resolution ever taken of the universe.
The Webb telescope uses powerful infrared technology and can reveal new details of space that Hubble, which launched in 1990, cannot.
NASA releases new images of ‘fingerprint-like’ dust rings from Webb telescope
In October, NASA released stunning new images from the Webb telescope showing off dust rings with a “fingerprint-like pattern” caused by two stars closely interacting with each other.
According to NASA, each ring was formed when the stars were nearby one another and the streams of gas they emitted met, creating dust.
Artemis moon rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral
After a few delays, NASA launched its unmanned capsule Artemis I rocket in November. The Artemis I launch was part of the agency’s long-brewing plan to have a presence on the moon for scientific discovery, economic development and to send the first crewed space trip to Mars, according to NASA.
Artemis I reached within 60 miles of the moon and spent 25.5 days in space and traveled on a 1.4-million-mile journey around the moon, according to reports from NASA.
On Dec. 11, the Artemis I Orion capsule splashed back to Earth near Baja California, Mexico.
Lunar eclipse, last one until 2025, had people looking to the sky
On Nov. 8, the second total lunar eclipse of 2022 took place — and it was the last time you could catch one until 2025.
A lunar eclipse is when the sun, Earth and moon align, and the moon passes into Earth’s shadow.
People in Hawaii and Alaska could easily view the total eclipse because the moon appeared to move above the Pacific Ocean.
First Mexican woman in space reflects on her lifelong dream of reaching the stars
History was made in June when Katya Echazarreta became the first Mexican woman to travel into outer space.
Echazarreta, 27, is an electrical engineer who was aboard the June 4 flight of the Blue Origin as a Space for Humanity Ambassador.
“It was a very interesting experience,” she told “GMA3” in September. “You’re the highest you’ve ever been in your life. And then suddenly it’s all black and you are now in space. And I looked out the window, I just couldn’t believe it.”
Astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann is the first Native woman in space
History was made again when astronaut Aunapa Mann became the first Native woman to go to space.
Mann is a member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and served as commander of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission, which launched on Oct. 3.