Two new missions efficiently arrived at Mars, bringing the variety of lively 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 continues to be connected and won’t land till Might or June. Every of those arrivals marks their nation’s first profitable mission to Mars. NASA’s Perseverance rover can be subsequent to reach, on 18 February 2021. Our arrival guide has all the main points. Pictured: Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, was lit purple to rejoice Hope’s arrival at Mars. Picture credit score: AFP.
NASA introduced the lander for PlanetVac’s Moon flight. PlanetVac is a pattern assortment expertise funded partially by Planetary Society members and donors. Final 12 months, NASA announced PlanetVac would be part of 10 different science and expertise demonstrations on a 2023 Moon mission. The company now says the lander can be Blue Ghost, constructed by Firefly Aerospace. Though Firefly additionally builds rockets, this flight will apparently happen utilizing one other rocket that has but to be decided.
NASA and the house companies of Italy, Canada, and Japan are contemplating a joint Mars mission to map water ice. The Worldwide Mars Ice Mapper, or I-MIM, would create detailed global maps exhibiting the depth and site of water ice beneath Mars’ floor. The knowledge would assist scientists study concerning the Purple 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 industrial 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 House Launch System. A 2024 launch would put Europa Clipper on target to reach at Jupiter in 2030.
The European House Company will quickly settle for functions for brand new astronauts. The window to apply runs from 31 March to 28 Might 2021. It’s the primary time ESA has accepted new functions in 11 years; the house company says it should 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 part of launch preparations. The mission launches in August 2022. Psyche will be the uncovered core of an historical protoplanet. Finding out it should present perception into our solar system’s history and educate us extra about asteroids, comets, and other small worlds.