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NASA’s Countdown to 2024: Prepping for Decades of High-Risk Exploration!

In space exploration, risk is inevitable and risk-taking is sometimes necessary in order to make major advances and discoveries. Nowhere is this truer than in 2024, which is shaping up to be a year of bold and daring space missions, some of which will push the boundaries of the unknown or exceed what humans have ever achieved before.

NASA is leading the charge with their most high-risk endeavor in decades. The agency plans to launch a spacecraft into the perilously close gravitational gravity of Venus, a move which could herald a new era of “Venusian exploration.” The mission, called “Veritas,” is designed to evaluate the potential for past life on the planet, as well as to study its atmosphere and geology.

In an effort to clear the way for humanity’s eventual journey to Mars, the agency is also planning a mission to the Moon’s lunar poles. The mission, called “Lunar Entry Mars Ascent Plane,” or LEAMAP, has the goal of exploring the poles, which haven’t been visited since 1972, and testing whether the environment is suitable for a human base.

Germany is also planning a significant mission in 2024. The German Aerospace Center is leading a mission that will send Europe’s second-ever spacecraft to explore the asteroid Itokawa. The unmanned spacecraft, called “Fraunhofer IKTS,” will spend over a year in orbit around the asteroid, mapping its surface and studying how it rotates.

The European Space Agency is aiming even higher with their planned mission in 2024. They are planning to launch the “Plato” spacecraft, which will explore exoplanets – planets beyond our solar system. The mission will search for Earth-like worlds and will be the first step towards its ambitious “Aurora” program which seeks to identify and study potentially habitable exoplanets.

Lastly, the Planetary Society is planning a mission of its own. Their mission, called “LightSail 2,” will attempt to pioneer a new method of deep space exploration called “solar sailing” which uses the power of the sun to propel spacecraft forward. This mission will be a key step in understanding if solar sailing can be used in the future for interplanetary travel.

In all, 2024 is shaping up to be a year of ambitious and boundary-pushing missions that could revolutionize our view of the universe and our understanding of the cosmos. From exploring Venus to searching for alien worlds, this array of space missions will certainly have us on the edge of our seats, eagerly awaiting their results and hoping that our astronauts and spacecraft can accomplish the seemingly impossible.

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