This Week in Space

Jan 19th 2024

This Week in Space 94

Space in 2024

Hosted by Rod Pyle, Tariq Malik

A Preview of the Global Plans for Spaceflight This Year!

New episodes posted every Friday.
Category: News

2024 looks to be another exciting year in spaceflight! Despite the delay of the Artemis crewed lunar program, a number of exciting missions are queued up this year, among them the launch of Europa Clipper, ESA's HERA mission to Didymos, the first flight of Blue Origin's mammoth New Glenn rocket, and the first crewed flight of India's new spacecraft, the Gagaanyan capsule. We'll dive into these and more on this episode of This Week in Space!


  • Japan became the 5th country to successfully soft land on the moon with their SLIM lunar lander, though it is having issues generating solar power due to its arrays not deploying properly. Despite this setback, Japan still declared the landing a success.
  • Astrobotic's Peregrine lunar lander failed after launch, burning up in Earth's atmosphere over the South Pacific after losing contact following its launch on ULA's Vulcan rocket. This was a major setback for Astrobotic's first lunar delivery contract under NASA's CLPS program.  
  • Axiom Space launched their AX-3 mission, the third all-private crewed flight to the ISS. The crew is made up of an international mix from the U.S., Italy, Spain, and Sweden.

Main Topic: 2024 in Space

  • Artemis Program Delays: NASA announced delays to the Artemis program, pushing back Artemis 2 to at least December 2025 and Artemis 3's lunar landing to 2026. Issues remain with the SLS rocket, Orion capsule, spacesuits, and especially SpaceX's Starship lunar lander, which needs many test flights before it is ready.
  • Blue Origin’s Progress: Blue Origin rolled out a pathfinder version of their New Glenn rocket to the launch site, signaling they are making progress with a planned launch in mid-2024. The rocket will have the biggest fairings of any currently available rocket.
  • 2024 Missions: JPL and NASA have many big robotic missions launching in 2024, including the Europa Clipper to study Jupiter's icy moon, JUICE to also study Jupiter's moons for ESA, and Hera, which will observe the results of NASA's DART asteroid test. ESA is also working to get the delayed Ariane 6 rocket off the ground.
  • India's Gaganyaan Capsule: India is making progress in developing their own crew capsule, called Gaganyaan, with plans to launch test flights in 2024 and 2025. This will be a major step in their ambitions for an independent human spaceflight program.

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