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Space By Will Lewis -

Upcoming Space Missions and Launches that Blow Our Minds
[Image via Star Walk]

SpaceX Starlink Launches

In January 2024, SpaceX is gearing up for yet another awe-inspiring Starlink launch, with Starlink Group 6-38 scheduled for January 28th at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The exact date and time might change, so people hoping to catch a glimpse of the satellites during launch or in the sky keep an eye on updates. Recent launches, such as Starlink Group 7-11 on January 23rd from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, and Starlink Group 6-37 on January 14th from Cape Canaveral, Florida, have all been successful, contributing to the growing constellation of over 5,250 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit. As SpaceX prepares for its sixth Starlink launch in January 2024, the company’s vision for a global internet communication satellite constellation continues to unfold, raising both admiration and apprehension within the scientific community.

Following each Starlink launch, spectators often witness a peculiar train of lights in the night sky. These lights are the Starlink satellites transitioning to a higher orbit. You can track their path over your location using the Find Starlink website. Despite the excitement surrounding these launches, concerns have arisen in the astronomical community. With SpaceX planning to deploy possibly up to 30,000 satellites, astronomers worry about the bright Starlinks interfering with professional astronomical observations, impacting our understanding of the cosmos. Although SpaceX has made efforts to address these concerns, the issue remains a point of contention.

Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Europa Clipper Mission: https://europa.nasa.gov/mission/about/

Artemis II Flight Test: https://www.nasa.gov/missions/artemis/nasas-first-flight-with-crew-important-step-on-long-term-return-to-the-moon-missions-to-mars/

Moon Robot VIPER: https://www.nasa.gov/solar-system/nasa-rover-to-search-for-water-other-resources-on-moon/

HERA Asteroid Mission: https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=HERA

ESCAPADE Mars Mission: https://advancedspace.com/technology-enabling-2024-escapade-mission-to-mars/#:~

Peregrine Mission One Lunar Delivery: https://www.nasa.gov/news-release/nasa-science-astrobotic-peregrine-mission-one-concludes/

India’s Aditya-L1 Sun Monitoring: https://www.reuters.com/science/india-isros-aditya-l1-solar-mission-reaches-destination-2024-01-06/

Proba-3 First Tandem Satellites: https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Engineering_Technology/Proba_Missions/Proba-3_Mission3

Polaris Dawn Mission: https://polarisprogram.com/dawn/

Nova-C Private Moon Landing: https://www.space.com/moon-landing-intuitive-machines-private-mission-target-january-2024

Launch of NISAR Strengthens U.S.- India Space Diplomacy: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nisar-mission-an-enabling-partnership-between-us-and-india-nasa-jpl-scientists/article67765872.ece

China’s Chang’e-6 and The Dark Side of the Moon: https://www.planetary.org/space-missions/change-6-collecting-the-first-lunar-farside-samples

MMX Martian Moon Mission: https://www.space.com/mars-moons-phobos-jaxa-mmx-mission

Lucy Mission Set For Jupiter Trojan Asteroids: https://blogs.nasa.gov/lucy/

NASA’s Lunar Trailblazer: https://www.planetary.org/space-missions/lunar-trailblazer

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8: https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/tag/falcon-9-rocket/

Blue Origin’s New Glenn: https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/12/blue-origin-sure-seems-confident-it-will-launch-new-glenn-in-2024/

Axiom Mission 4: https://www.nasa.gov/news-release/nasa-selects-axiom-space-for-another-private-space-mission-in-2024/

SpaceX Starlink Launches: https://earthsky.org/spaceflight/spacex-starlink-launches-january-2024/