Space missions 2024: which ones will be most important and what we can expect

This is how NASA’s next generation moon rocket took off.

2024 will be a crucial year for missions beyond Earth For various space agencies of the world.

as if it were A new space race, No longer with the dominance of superpowers, but with competition between multiple countries and even private companies launching rockets or sending rovers or probes to planets And far-flung places in the universe receive a greater role at the beginning of this year.

Here we review the most important space missions expected in this new year starting tomorrow, in which many nations are heroes and want to be recorded in history.

Artemis II wants to take humans to Moon orbit again, as they did in the 1960s (NASA)

One of the most important space missions in 2024 Stand out NASA’s Artemis II manned mission is the most prestigious for humans to return to orbit around our natural satellite. He artemis program of pot It begins with the first unmanned mission to return to the Moon through Premiere in November 2022 NASA’s SLS Mega rocket and the all-new Orion capsule, In the 60’s and 70’s Apollo had the capacity to carry 4 astronauts instead of 3.

And although there were significant delays, the flight was a complete success, with the US space agency able to verify that The new Orion ship was able to create suitable safety conditions So that the future crew can travel in it for several days, perform the necessary maneuvers and make a successful re-entry to our planet.

This first flight of Artemis meant a great step forward for future human exploration on the Moon. In November 2024Astronauts have planned Fly around our natural satellite for nearly 10 days in the Orion spacecraft,Artemis is the first step into the next era of human exploration, “Together with commercial and international partners, NASA will establish a permanent presence on the Moon in preparation for missions to Mars,” NASA said on its website.

Christina Koch, Victor Glover and Reed Wiseman and Canadian Jeremy Hansen are the astronauts selected by NASA for the Artemis II mission.

American astronaut Christina Koch, Victor Glover and Reed Wiseman and canadian jeremy hansen He has already been selected for this journey.

The Artemis II crew will travel approximately 7,500 km to the far side of the Moon and then return to Earth. “Instead of requiring propulsion for return, the low-power trajectory takes advantage of the Earth-Moon gravitational field, ensuring astronauts’ return home after their trip around the far side of the Moon.” Orion will be naturally pulled by Earth’s gravity,” specified the US space agency, which expects the mission to last 10 days.

And after a year, In 2025, humanity will return to the lunar surface with the Artemis III mission.

Japan’s SLIM spacecraft wants to land on the Moon in 2024 (JAXA)

jaxaThe Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has made up its mind to carry out the first lunar landing slim spaceship ,Smart lander to probe the moonfor its short form in English) on January 19, 2024.

The ship was launched on September 6, 2023 with the XRISM space telescope, so it is already in space that Japan will become the fifth country to successfully land a probe on the Moon.

New Japanese Hakuto mission seeks revenge on the Moon (iSpace)

A Japanese private space company The target is to land on the moon in 2024 after the failure in April this year. After losing the first spacecraft seconds before a landing attempt, Japanese aerospace firm iSpace’s Hakuto-R mission will take its revenge.

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 of Espace, Takeshi Hakamada, He said that although the company “could not accomplish a landing on the Moon,” it achieved other mission objectives, such as “obtaining a large amount of data and experience” to carry out another similar operation.

“We will use this learning for Mission 2 and beyond,” Hakamada said in a statement, referring to the next projects that iSpace plans to complete by 2024, which include send another probe to the moon And this rover deployment,

China wants to return to the Moon with a new mission

China’s proposal Return to the Moon with the Chang’e 6 mission. Thanks to this mission, which will land in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the eastern country will try to collect samples from the far side of the Moon in May 2024. According to China Daily, the mission will consist of several components, including an orbiter, a lunar lander, an elevator, and a reentry module. Space missions involve two major points:

1- Launch of Qiqiao 2 relay satellite

2- To facilitate communication between the Chang’e 6 probe and Earth to ensure efficient data transmission.

If everything goes according to plan, this will be the first time samples have been obtained from a distance, which could Reveal valuable information about lunar history,

The Ariane 5 rocket flies for the last time while its successor Ariane 6 is already being considered (Reuters)

On July 5, 2023, the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Ariane 5 space rocket made its final journey and said its final ‘goodbye’ without ESA replacing it.

But Arianespace already has plans for its next rocket, the Ariane 6, almost ready It is expected to launch in mid-2024 -Specifically, between June 15 and July 31 next year-.

Experts are confident that the rocket that will replace Ariane 5 will finally fly in the mid-2024 because successfully passed a required examination The trial was held in 2023 long lasting ignition The spacecraft’s central stage, which was launched from the ESA launch platform in Kourou (French Guiana) on 22 November.

Blue Origin’s new rocket compared to other rockets on the market (Blue Origin)

NASA expects a new New Glenn rocket from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company to be ready to launch two satellites to Mars before the end of 2024.

NASA chooses Blue Origin to launch mission in February Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Mobility Explorers -which is summarized in the acronym ESCAPADE-. These are a pair of small satellites, with the help of which they search Study the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetosphere of Mars,

And all this will be done with the new New Glenn rocket that will be able to send useful loads to orbit to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the main space company in the market.

Although Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ company has not provided further details about the final launch, said Jarrett Jones, senior vice president of New Glenn at Blue Origin. World Satellite Business Week In September they are planning several New Glen releases in 2024.

The European space mission Hera wants to visit the asteroid Didymos and its moon Dimorphos (ESA).

Europe wants to make history with the launch of ESA’s Hera mission Visit Asteroid Didymos and Its Moon Dimorphos, it will take in Aiming for October 2024 Arrive at the binary system in December 2026 to observe on site And evaluate the impacts of NASA’s DART experiment, which crashed into Dimorphos on September 26, 2022 and managed to change its trajectory.

That was NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART), the goal of which was to evaluate the feasibility of altering the trajectories of asteroids by directly hitting them with spacecraft called kinetic impactors.

SpaceX launches its Starship rocket from Texas

in november we saw The rocket’s spectacular second flight The most powerful in the world, starship From SpaceX. The launch was successful on one hand and unsuccessful on the other.

The flight of the first stage, a booster named Falcon Heavy, lasted about three minutes, explosion After being separated from the main ship and could not be recovered from the sea, the Starship ship also did not succeed, having to cover an orbital flight of approximately 90 minutes, which lasted only 8 minutes in the sky, and barely managed to cross space. I was successful.

Similarly, SpaceX confirms that although the path has not been easy, they have collected a lot of information and learned from their mistakes. And they are ready so that in January or February they can perform a third launch of Starship and test the success of the megarocket, which is intended to be a key vehicle for the return of humans to the Moon and their next leap to Mars.

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