“Landing science on the Moon, demonstrating quiet supersonic aircraft, and launching two new Earth climate satellites, plus a mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s icy moons, are just a few of the milestones we have planned for 2024,” NASA said.
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NASA 2024: Onward and Upward
NASA announced a list of missions that will take place next year as part of its continued efforts to “break barriers, shatter limits, and make the impossible possible.” These include preparation for Artemis II and Artemis III moon missions as some footage was shown in the trailer.
Jim Free, who is the associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, shared how Artemis will be different from other space missions.
Furthermore, missions that will help scientists measure the changes on Earth’s surface are also slated for 2024.
NASA also unveiled a new mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa. “We will show what is possible when we dare to reach distant cosmic shores,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said. SpaceX Crew-8 and Crew-9 are expected to launch around February and August, respectively.
Artemis II launch is slated for November where NASA will send four astronauts on a lunar flyby, paving the way for Artemis III’s historic moonwalk in 2025. The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), launching in October, will scour the lunar South Pole for water ice, a crucial resource for future lunar outposts.
Martian moons and more: Beyond the Moon and Jupiter, 2024 will also see missions venturing further into the solar system. September marks the launch of the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
MMX will journey to Phobos, Mars’ smaller moon, collect a sample, and return it to Earth, offering invaluable clues about the Martian system’s origins.