Exciting Space Missions to Take Place in 2024: Moon Landings, Satellite Launches, and More
2024 is shaping up to be a remarkable year for space exploration and missions, with numerous groundbreaking projects planned. From moon landings to satellite launches, scientists and astronauts are eager to unveil new discoveries and push the boundaries of space exploration.
Leading the pack, the United States has scheduled two moon landings for 2024. Astrobotic is set to kick off the year with its Peregrine moon lander mission in February. This mission aims to study the Gruithuisen Domes region, unlocking secrets about the moon’s geological history. Following closely behind is Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission, which will deliver the Nova-C lander to the rim of the Malapert A crater near the moon’s south pole.
Not to be outdone, Japan’s space agency, JAXA, has exciting plans to land its Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) lander on the near side of the moon in January. This mission intends to gather valuable data about our celestial neighbor. Meanwhile, China is gearing up for a historic sample-return mission to the moon’s far side in May. The goal is to collect rocks from the South Pole-Aitken Basin, which could unveil crucial information about the moon’s formation and evolution.
Europe is also making significant strides in space exploration. In June or July, the highly anticipated debut of Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket is expected. This milestone will enable Europe to independently launch satellites into orbit, reducing its dependence on other nations for space missions. Furthermore, the Hera mission, launching in October, will investigate the aftermath of the DART spacecraft’s collision with the asteroid Dimorphos, offering valuable insights into asteroid deflection techniques.
Japan’s MMX mission, set to launch in September, is dedicated to studying the origins of Mars’ moons. By collecting samples from Phobos, scientists hope to unravel the mysteries surrounding these enigmatic satellites. Not to be left behind, NASA is embarking on its Europa Clipper mission in October. This mission aims to explore Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and assess its potential habitability.
In addition to moon landings and interplanetary explorations, NASA has exciting projects close to home as well. The EscaPADE mission will send two satellites to study the atmosphere of Mars and its interaction with solar wind. This mission could provide valuable insights into the red planet’s atmospheric composition. And in November, NASA’s Artemis II mission will be a crucial step in testing the functionality of the Orion spacecraft for future lunar missions.
The year will conclude on a high note with Rocket Lab’s mission to Venus in December. This groundbreaking mission will focus on searching for organic material in the planet’s atmosphere, a key indicator for the potential existence of life beyond Earth.
As 2024 unfolds, the world eagerly anticipates these space missions. With each successful launch and landing, scientists and space agencies inch closer to unraveling the mysteries of the universe and expanding our understanding of celestial bodies beyond our own planet. Stay tuned for these captivating missions that promise to captivate and inspire audiences worldwide.
“Infuriatingly humble tv expert. Friendly student. Travel fanatic. Bacon fan. Unable to type with boxing gloves on.”