2024 will be a key year for missions beyond Earth for various space agencies around the world.
As if it were new space race, no longer with the predominance of superpowers, but with competition from several countries and even private companies. launching rockets or sending rovers or probes to planets and remote places in space will take on a greater role in the coming year.
Here we look at the most important space missions expected in the new year starting tomorrow, with several countries taking the lead and aiming to make history.
Among the most important space missions of 2024 stands out NASA’s Artemis 2 manned mission is most iconic because it represents the return of humans to orbit of our natural satellite. He Artemis Program belonging POT debuted in November 2022 with the first unmanned mission to return to the Moon during its premiere NASA’s SLS megarocket and new Orion capsule. with the ability to carry four astronauts instead of three, like Apollo in the 60s and 70s.
And although there were many delays, the flight was completely successful, where the US space agency was able to verify that the new Orion spacecraft was capable of creating suitable security conditions so that the future crew can travel on it for several days, performing the necessary maneuvers and achieving a successful return to our planet.
This maiden flight of Artemis I marked a big step for future human exploration of the Moon. IN November 2024the astronauts planned fly for about 10 days around our natural satellite on the Orion spacecraft“Artemis – the first step into the next era of human exploration. “Together with commercial and international partners, NASA will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon in preparation for missions to Mars,” NASA says on its website.
American astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover and Reed Wiseman and Canadian Jeremy Hansen They have already been selected for this trip.
The Artemis II crew will travel about 7,500 km beyond the far side of the Moon before returning to Earth. “Rather than requiring propulsion for return, the low-power trajectory uses the Earth-Moon gravitational field, ensuring that after its flight around the far side of the Moon, Orion will be naturally pulled by Earth’s gravity to return astronauts home. “, the US space agency said, which expects the mission to last 10 days.
And a year later, In 2025, humanity will return to the lunar surface with the help of the Artemis III mission.
JAXAThe Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency intends to carry out the first spacecraft landing on the Moon. THIN spaceship (Smart lander for lunar explorationEnglish abbreviation) January 19, 2024
The craft was launched on September 6, 2023, along with the XRISM space telescope, so it is expected to already be in space, making Japan the fifth country to successfully land a probe on the Moon.
A Japanese private space company aims to land on the Moon in 2024 after failing in April this year. Japanese aerospace company Ispace’s Hakuto-R mission will take revenge for the loss of the first spacecraft seconds before attempting to land.
According to Ispace, “Phase 9” – the lunar landing – could not be successfully achieved because communication between the probe and the control center was lost. However, the founder and CEO Ispace, Takeshi Hakamada, He stated that while the company “failed to land on the Moon,” they achieved other mission goals, such as “gaining a lot of data and experience” to carry out another similar operation.
“We will use this knowledge for mission 2 and beyond,” Hakamada said in a statement, referring to the next project Ispace plans to complete by 2024, consisting of send another probe to the moon And rover deployment.
China offers return to the Moon with the Chang’e 6 mission. The eastern country will aim to collect samples from the far side of the Moon in May 2024 with this mission, which is due to land in the South Pole-Aitken Basin. According to China Daily, the mission will consist of several components, including an orbiter, a lunar lander, an elevator and a return module. The space mission includes two key points:
1- Launch of Queqiao 2 relay satellite.
2- Ensure communication between the Chang’e-6 probe and the Earth to ensure efficient data transfer.
If all goes according to plan, this will be the first time samples have been received from the far side, which could Reveal valuable information about the history of the Moon.
On July 5, 2023, the Ariane 5 space rocket of the European Space Agency (ESA) made its final flight and said its final goodbye without a replacement from ESA.
But ArianeSpace already has plans for the next rocket, Ariane 6, which is almost ready. He hopes to launch it in mid-2024. -more precisely, from June 15 to July 31 of the next year-.
The reason why experts are convinced that the rocket that will replace Ariane 5 will finally fly in mid-2024 is because successfully passed an important test in 2023. The trial took place long ignition the spacecraft’s core stage, which was carried out on November 22 from ESA’s launch platform in Kourou, French Guiana.
NASA hopes Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company will have its new New Glenn rocket ready to launch two satellites to Mars by the end of 2024.
NASA selects Blue Origin to launch mission in February Escape, Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers — which is summarized in the acronym ESCAPADE—. This is a pair of small satellites that are used to search for study the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetosphere of Mars.
And all this will be done using the new New Glenn rocket, which will be able to send payloads into orbit to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the main space company in the market.
While Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s company has not provided additional details about the possible first launch, Jarrett Jones, senior vice president of New Glenn at Blue Origin, said in a release World Satellite Business Week in September that they were planning multiple New Glenn releases in 2024.
Europe aims to make history with ESA’s Hera mission visit the asteroid Didymos and its moon Dimorphos. He’ll fly through October 2024 with a target reach the binary system in December 2026 to verify on site and assess the impact of NASA’s DART experiment, which crashed into Dimorphos on September 26, 2022 and managed to change its trajectory.
This was NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which aimed to evaluate the possibility of altering the trajectories of asteroids by colliding spacecraft, called kinetic impactors, directly with them.
In November we witnessed exciting second rocket flight the most powerful in the world, Starship from SpaceX. The launch turned out to be successful on the one hand, and a failure on the other.
The flight of the first stage, a launch vehicle called Falcon Heavy, lasted about three minutes., exploded Separated from the main ship and unable to be recovered from the sea, the Starship also failed to succeed, having to make an almost orbital flight lasting 90 minutes, lasting only 8 in the sky, and barely managed to slip through space.
Likewise, SpaceX claims that although the path has not been easy, they have gathered a lot of information and learned from their mistakes. And they are poised for a third Starship launch in January or February to test the success of a mega-rocket envisioned as a key means of returning humans to the Moon and their next leap to the planet Mars.