The space industry had an incredible year, and 2024 is expected to be even more remarkable despite challenges faced by space companies.
This year was tough for many space companies due to rising costs and difficult fundraising, but there are several exciting developments expected in 2024.
Here are some of the key things to look forward to next year, with a focus on venture-backed startups:
More Starship Tests
SpaceX had a landmark year, launching the powerful Starship vehicle twice, despite both tests ending in explosions. The company’s culture of iterative improvement is expected to lead to more successful tests and an even higher testing cadence in 2024.
Historic Lunar Lander Missions
Private companies, including Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines, Firefly Aerospace, and ispace, will attempt historic lunar landings in 2024. If successful, these missions will make history.
Advanced Satellite Operations Demonstrations
Space startups are expected to demonstrate advanced satellite operations, including rendezvous and proximity operations, in-space manufacturing, and satellite reentry. Several startups, including True Anomaly, Atomos Space, Astroscale, Varda Space Industries, and Impulse Space, are set to showcase state-of-the-art satellite operations.
More Rocket Testing
2024 is anticipated to see an array of rocket tests and developments from companies such as Blue Origin, Rocket Lab, Sierra Space, Stoke Space, Relativity, and ABL Space Systems.