Top space missions in 2024 to the moon, sun, Venus | Science & Technology

(NewsNation) — As 2024 begins, NASA and private space companies are set to launch a number of new missions aimed at acquiring more knowledge of our universe and putting humans back on the moon.

Here’s what to look out for in 2024:

Artemis II Moon Mission

Undoubtedly the most exciting mission of the year, Artemis II is set to launch in November. Four astronauts will do a fly-by around the moon, marking the first crewed launch since 2006 and the first time NASA has sent astronauts out of low-Earth orbit since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

The mission is a precursor to 2025’s Artemis III mission which would put humans back on the surface of the moon.

Hera Asteroid Mission

The European Space Agency will launch the mission in October, a follow-up to NASA’s 2022 mission to punch an asteroid to change its path. The goal is to examine what happened to the asteroid Dimorphos after NASA crashed a spacecraft into it.

The goal of NASA’s mission was to determine whether launching a craft into an asteroid could change the orbit, in the event an asteroid was set on a collision course with Earth. Hera will help determine how much impact intentionally flying a spacecraft into an asteroid actually had.

Parker Solar Probe touches the sun

In December the probe, which launched in 2018, is set to fly by the sun in an effort to take the first sample of the sun’s atmosphere.

Scientists have described the effort as nearly landing on a star and hope to gain insight into solar winds and help improve forecasting for solar activity that can impact the Earth.

Dream Chaser Spaceplane launch

Sierra Space hopes to test the plane, which will eventually be used to shuttle supplies to the International Space Station. The Dream Chaser launches on a rocket like any other spacecraft but is designed to land on…

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