From stunning images from James Webb Telescope to 1st Mexican woman in space, here are the top space stories of 2022

Humanity has made great strides in exploring the deep mysteries of space.

Video byDara Elasfar
December 22, 2022, 6:05 AM

"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.

PHOTO: FILE - This file image released by NASA on July 12, 2022, shows that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has revealed the cloak of dust around the second star, shown at left in red, at the center of the Southern Ring Nebula for the first time.
This file image released by NASA on July 12, 2022, shows that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has revealed the cloak of dust around the second star, shown at left in red, at the center of the Southern Ring Nebula for the first time. It is a hot dense white dwarf star.
Handout/NASA/AFP via Getty Images, FILE
PHOTO: A picture of Stephan's Quintet
A picture of Stephan's Quintet
NASA
PHOTO: The Carina Nebula is a star-forming region in the Sagittarius-Carina arm of the Milky Way that is 7,500 light years from Earth and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory has detected more than 14,000 stars in the region.
The Carina Nebula is a star-forming region in the Sagittarius-Carina arm of the Milky Way that is 7,500 light years from Earth and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory has detected more than 14,000 stars in the region.
NASA

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.

PHOTO: The two stars in Wolf-Rayet 140 produce shells of dust every eight years that look like rings, as seen in this image from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. Each ring was created when the stars came close together and their stellar winds collided.
The two stars in Wolf-Rayet 140 produce shells of dust every eight years that look like rings, as seen in this image from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. Each ring was created when the stars came close together and their stellar winds collided.
NASA/ESA/CSA/STScl/JPL-Caltech

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.

PHOTO: Artemis I launch of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft from Space Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Artemis I launch of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft from Space Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Nasa/bill Ingalls/(NASA/Bill Ingalls)
PHOTO: NASA's unmanned Orion spaceship splashes down in the Pacific Ocean off Baja California, Mexico, Dec. 11, 2022.
NASA's unmanned Orion spaceship splashes down in the Pacific Ocean off Baja California, Mexico, Dec. 11, 2022.
Mario Tama/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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.

PHOTO: FILE - The blood-red full Beaver Moon passes behind the Empire State Building during a total lunar eclipse, Nov. 8, 2022, in New York City.
The blood-red full Beaver Moon passes behind the Empire State Building during a total lunar eclipse, Nov. 8, 2022, in New York City.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images, FILE
PHOTO: FILE - The blood-red full Beaver Moon passes behind the Empire State Building during a total lunar eclipse, Nov. 8, 2022, in New York City.
The blood-red full Beaver Moon passes behind the Empire State Building during a total lunar eclipse, Nov. 8, 2022, in New York City.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images, FILE

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."

PHOTO: In this Aug. 2, 2022, file photo, Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican-born American ever to fly to space, attends an event where she received the keys to the city from Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum in Mexico City, Mexico.
In this Aug. 2, 2022, file photo, Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican-born American ever to fly to space, attends an event where she received the keys to the city from Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum in Mexico City, Mexico.
Henry Romero/Reuters, FILE
PHOTO: Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican woman to travel to space in June 2022 on the Blue Origin NS-21 mission aboard NASA's New Shepard spacecraft, at the unveiling of a mural in her honor located on a building in Mexico City, on Dec. 12, 2022.
Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican woman to travel to space in June 2022 on the Blue Origin NS-21 mission aboard NASA's New Shepard spacecraft, is shown during the unveiling of a mural in her honor located on a building in Mexico City, on Dec. 12, 2022.
Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto via AP, FILE

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.

PHOTO: Nicole Aunapu Mann in an official NASA portrait.
Nicole Aunapu Mann in an official NASA portrait.
NASA
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