The year 2021 has started strong in terms of space missions. The most recent, the NASA’s Perseverance mission, in which a rover landed, with a small helicopter attached, on the surface of Mars for the purpose of finding signs of life on the red planet. It is not the only mission there is on this planet right now, although they are not from this year.
The Chinese probe Tianwen-1 is already in orbit, which will continue until May, at which point your rover will descend to the surface. The Al Amal orbiter is also circulating there, which was launched by the United Arab Emirates in July of last year, and is on a mission to monitor the climate and atmospheric layers of Mars.
The recent Perseverance landing, which has been a tremendously celebrated event at NASA, Up to eight more space missions will join in 2021, led by NASA, the Indian Agency for Space Research or the European Space Agency.
The first missions before summer
NASA has no intention of stopping, and in 2021 it will take the first steps of an ambitious project, within its Artemis program, with which he intends to send the first woman and another man to the Moon. That will be in 2024, if everything goes well, but first there are some previous experiments. Thus, on June 20 a rocket will be launched as part of Peregrine Mission 1. 14 payloads will be taken to Lacus Mortis, a crater located on the visible side of the Moon.
On the other hand, China does not want to be left behind and plans to launch the first parts for the assembly of its own space station in March. The mission is called Tianhe, the first of six quick missions. Construction will be completed in 2022.
Change the trajectory of a celestial body and probe a lunar tunnel
In addition to the aforementioned, NASA has more plans for 2021. For example, andOn October 11, a mission is scheduled to be launched (IM-1) of 14 days duration for which plumb a lunar lava tunnel, specifically, one that is collapsed in the Lake of Death, a crater located in the Moon’s Ocean of Storms.
Y Together with the European Space Agency (ESA), it will seek to change the trajectory of a “dangerous” celestial body for the first time. As of November 24, until February 15, 2022, A 500 kilogram space probe will be sent to collide with the asteroid Didymos and its small moon, Didymoon, which in October 2022 will pass close to Earth. The mission is called Double Asteroid Redirection (DART).
Two major releases in October
On October 16, 2021, the launch of a spacecraft, ‘Lucy’, will take place with the aim of exploring and studying the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. This mission could provide valuable information on the origin of the Solar System and organic matter. It will last 12 years, exploring a total of seven celestial bodies.
And on October 31, the most powerful space telescope ever built, the James Webb, will be launched., from French Guiana. It has a value of 8.8 billion dollars. Your mission, to explore the planets and moons of the Solar System.
The last two to end the year
To end, From the United States, the year 2021 will be rounded off with the launch of the Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket in history. It is also part of the first steps towards the arrival of man on the Moon again.
And at the end of the year the Indian Agency for Space Research will join, with its third lunar mission, the Chandrayaan 3. He already carried out one in 2008 in which he found water and another that hit the lunar surface in 2019. This consists of the landing of a rover, at a cost of just under 100 million dollars.