A private company has successfully delivered cargo to the Moon’s surface for the first time. Here’s what that means for future space exploration.
Crew members in space will spend lots of time together during future missions to Mars.
NASA via AP
Can astronauts spend prolonged time in close quarters millions of miles from Earth without killing each other?
The dark, far side of the Moon is the perfect place to conduct radio astronomy.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Projects under NASA’s CLPS program – including the Odysseus lander that made it to the lunar surface – will probe unexplored questions about the universe’s formation.
The entrance to For All Mankind’s Happy Valley.
In sci-fi depictions, extraterrestrial habitats have evolved tandem with scientific understanding of conditions on planets
The Artemis I Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft. The successful Artemis I mission was the first in an increasingly complex planned series of missions, which have now been delayed.
NASA announced that the next two Artemis missions — Artemis II and III — will be delayed for safety reasons. However, Artemis IV remains on schedule.
Photograph: Nasa (Goddard Space Flight Center)
The Peregrine and Nova-C landers are due to carry out valuable science at two diverse lunar locations.
NASA isn’t the only space agency with exciting missions to watch for in 2024.
AP Photo/John Raoux
Expect lots of space missions to launch this coming year, with exciting new science to follow.
The Moon, shot from Pakistan during a lunar eclipse.
AP Photo/Fareed Khan
Chandrayaan-3’s successful landing on the Moon made 2023 a big year for lunar exploration, and future years will come with even more discoveries.
Growing Beyond Earth
Astronauts living and working on the Moon will need something to eat. The Growing Beyond Earth program supports international space crop research.
With NASA planning more missions to space in the future, scientists are studying how to mitigate health hazards that come with space flight.
AP Photo/John Raoux
Space can damage everything from your cardiovascular and nervous systems to your mental health – long voyages can feel isolating for many.
India’s Chandrayaan-3 lander successfully touched down on the south pole of the Moon on Aug. 23, 2023, sparking celebrations across the country.
AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
India became the first country to land near the south pole of the Moon, a notoriously difficult achievement that also marks them as the fourth country to land on the Moon.
Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, launched from a spaceport in Texas.
AP Photo/Eric Gay)
The launch of a new rocket is always an exciting event. SpaceX’s ‘go fast and fail’ approach means that even though the test ended with engineers blowing up the rocket, it was a valuable first flight.
NASA’s Artemis I Space Launch System rocket, with the Orion capsule attached, launches at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on November 16, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
As signatories, Nigeria and Rwanda are demonstrating their commitment to safe, sustainable use of outer space. This should have multiple benefits.
The far side of the Moon is an attractive place to carry out astronomy.
NASA / Ernie Wright
The current race to the Moon is opening up opportunities for lunar astronomy.
Both the U.S. and China have plans to establish bases on the Moon in the near future.
Caspar Benson/fStop via Getty Images
China has invested massively in its space capabilities in recent years and is now a major competitor with the US. But according to a space policy expert, the US still dominates space by most measures.
From left to right: Christina Koch, Reid Wiseman (seated), Victor Glover and Jeremy Hansen make up the Artemis II crew.
The crew of Artemis II will face new and old challenges when they return to the Moon.
The Artemis II mission will send four astronauts on a flyby of the Moon.
The Artemis II mission is scheduled for launch in late 2024 and is a critical step towards NASA’s goals of establishing a permanent human presence on and near the Moon.
There are more than 100 missions to the Moon planned in the coming years, including the next Artemis missions.
With more than 100 lunar missions planned in coming years, space junk near the Moon could become an issue for humanity. No agency tracks lunar space junk, so two astronomers decided to do it themselves.
The James Webb Space Telescope began sending its first images back to Earth in the summer of 2022.
NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI via Flickr
NASA has been gaining momentum in recent years as investment into space has ramped up in the US. In 2022, missions dealt with the farthest, closest, hottest and coldest conditions in the universe.
Three taikonauts rode aboard the Shenzhou 15 mission on their way to China’s new Tiangong space station.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
China has completed construction of the Tiangong space station, and science projects are now underway. The station is an important piece of China’s ambitious plans for space activity in coming years.