All eyes on Mars

Two new missions efficiently arrived at Mars, bringing the variety of energetic missions there to 10. The UAE’s Hope probe entered orbit on 9 February, whereas China’s Tianwen-1 orbiter and rover arrived a day later. Tianwen-1’s rover remains to be connected and won’t land till May or June. Each of those arrivals marks their nation’s first profitable mission to Mars. NASA’s Perseverance rover will likely be subsequent to reach, on 18 February 2021. Our arrival information has all the main points. Pictured: Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, was lit pink to have fun Hope’s arrival at Mars. Image credit score: AFP.
NASA introduced the lander for PlanetVac’s Moon flight. PlanetVac is a pattern assortment know-how funded partially by Planetary Society members and donors. Last 12 months, NASA introduced PlanetVac would be a part of 10 different science and know-how demonstrations on a 2023 Moon mission. The company now says the lander will likely be Blue Ghost, constructed by Firefly Aerospace. Although Firefly additionally builds rockets, this flight will apparently happen utilizing one other rocket that has but to be decided.
NASA and the house businesses of Italy, Canada, and Japan are contemplating a joint Mars mission to map water ice. The International Mars Ice Mapper, or I-MIM, would create detailed world maps displaying the depth and placement of water ice beneath Mars’ floor. The data would assist scientists study concerning the Red Planet’s previous and choose touchdown websites for future human exploration missions. If authorized, I-MIM may launch as quickly as 2026.
NASA plans to launch its Europa Clipper spacecraft aboard a business rocket in October 2024. The information, which got here out throughout a gathering of outer planets scientists, frees the mission from a requirement to make use of NASA’s Space Launch System. A 2024 launch would put Europa Clipper on course to reach at Jupiter in 2030.
The European Space Agency will quickly settle for functions for brand new astronauts. The window to use runs from 31 March to 28 May 2021. It’s the primary time ESA has accepted new functions in 11 years; the house company says it can place a excessive emphasis on diversifying its astronaut corps.
NASA’s Psyche mission, which is able to discover a metallic asteroid of the identical identify, has moved into the ultimate section of launch preparations. The mission launches in August 2022. Psyche stands out as the uncovered core of an historical protoplanet. Studying it can present perception into our photo voltaic system’s historical past and train us extra about asteroids, comets, and different small worlds.

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