Three missions arrive to MARS!!!
-Hope orbiter by the United Arab Emirates
-the Perseverance rover launched by NASA
-the Tianwen-1 mission (with orbiter, lander, and rover) launched by China.
All three missions will reach Martian orbit in February, with Perseverance making its way to the surface later that month, followed by Tianwen-1 in April.
Hope – atmospheric questions like why the planet hemorrhages hydrogen and oxygen.
**China’s and the UAE’s first time getting a close-up look at the planet.**
Boeing’s second Starliner test,
If it goes well they may have a crewed mission to the ISS later this year.
NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) is a program open to small companies interested in having a presence on the Moon. It’s part of the Artemis Program! Artemis’ mission is to not only SEND humans to the Moon but have a permanent base there too. The first CLPS mission will be in June and Oct.
The maiden launch of ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket carrying Astrobotic Technology’s Peregrine lander, 28 CLPS payloads including 14 from NASA.
If it goes well this will be the first private spacecraft to successfully land on the Moon.
Supposed to be the end of the Juno mission at Jupiter however there’s a possibility NASA will extend the mission to Sept 2025 to do some flybys of Jupiter’s Moons & study them up close!
Intuitive Machines will launch their Nova-C lander to the Moon on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying at least 5 NASA payloads to the Moon along with other payloads from other groups.
Luna 25 is the continuation of the Russian Luna program which ended with Luna 24 in 1976. Luna 25 will be a lander going to the lunar South Pole, exploring a new type of landing tech – Russia plans to use this for future robotic missions. Luna 25 will also bring scientific instruments to study the lunar soil!!
First time private citizens are launching to the ISS to stay for at least 8 days!! Via SpaceX Axiom Space 1. May involve Tom Cruise.
LAUNCH OF JAMES WEBB AS LAST!!!!!! With new-fangled infrared observations from Earth’s orbit aka it has an extraordinary potential to study the atmospheres of exoplanets and exomoons. This is important for detecting signs of biochemistry which might imply alien life.
Artemis 1, an uncrewed Orion will go on a 25.5 day mission that takes it out to the moon for a few days and brings it back to Earth safe and sound
The mission will test out the Orion vehicle hardware, software, and life support systems. It’ll even strap two mannequins to a pair of seats which will have with sensors to understand how much radiation a crew inside the cabin might be exposed to during this journey.
Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket ever built will also (hopefully) launch this day for the first time.
Tiangong program continues to its next phase – a modular orbital space station 1/5th size of ISS. Plan is to launch the core service module called Tinahe in 2021. First of 11 missions launched over 2 years to fully contract the space station. To be ready for taikonaut crews of 3 people at ta time for at least 10 years running.
Virgin Orbit, like its sister company Virgin Galactic has customers lined up through 2021 for their LancherOne. Where an aircraft takes a rocket high up to the atmosphere and releases it so it flies the rest of the way… however LauncherOne has yet to have a successful test-flight.
2 big missions for 2021
- Send people into suborbital flight for a few minutes aboard New Shepard as a space tourism service. New Shepard launched 13 times and the booster has proven reusability through vertical landings after flight – so this is exciting!
- New Glenn – aimed to launch before end of 2021. When launched it’ll be a heavy launch vehicle supposedly more powerful than SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy.. woah.
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