NASA showcases 2024 space trailer

NASA's 2024 missions include Europa Clipper, Artemis II, VIPER rover, Lunar Trailblazer, and Hera for exploration

Markhan Hussain January 15, 2024
NASA 2024 Mission

The year 2023 has been a significant turning point in space exploration, with NASA at the forefront of many notable achievements.

These achievements include the return of asteroid samples by NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission and India's Chandrayaan-3 mission exploring the lunar south pole.

Looking ahead to 2024, NASA is poised to take another leap in space exploration. The agency has released an exciting promotional video showcasing its lineup of missions for the year, highlighting the theme Onward and upward.

1. Europa Clipper

One of the key missions is the Europa Clipper, set to explore Europa, one of Jupiter's largest moons. This mission is driven by the moon's icy surface and the potential of an underground ocean that could harbour extraterrestrial life. Scheduled for launch on October 10, 2024, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, the Europa Clipper will conduct around 50 flybys to study Europa's surface geology and search for signs of active geysers.

2. Artemis II and Artemis III

Another major part of NASA's 2024 agenda is the Artemis program. Artemis II, set for November 2024 (with a potential delay to 2025), aims to send astronauts on a test flight around the Moon, reminiscent of the Apollo 8 mission. This crewed mission follows the successful Artemis I, which orbited an unmanned capsule around the Moon in 2022. Preparations are also underway for Artemis III, which plans a manned lunar landing, including the first woman and person of color on the Moon's surface, with new spacesuits being developed.

3. VIPER rover

NASA's VIPER rover, initially scheduled for 2023 but postponed for further testing, is planned for November 2024. The size of a golf cart, VIPER will explore the Moon's south pole, searching for water and carbon dioxide, vital for future human exploration.

4. Lunar Trailblazer and PRIME-1

The Lunar Trailblazer and PRIME-1 missions, part of NASA's SIMPLEx initiative, are also on the 2024 agenda. Lunar Trailblazer, set for early 2024, will orbit the Moon, mapping water molecules and measuring surface temperatures. PRIME-1, slated for mid-2024, will test lunar drilling in conjunction with Lunar Trailblazer.

5. Hera mission

Lastly, the European Space Agency's Hera mission, in collaboration with NASA, is scheduled to launch in October 2024. Hera will journey to the Didymos-Dimorphos asteroid system, following NASA's DART mission that impacted one of the asteroids in 2022. This mission will study the asteroids' physical properties, contributing to our understanding of planetary defense techniques like kinetic impact.



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