Five planned missions to Mars

Space agencies around the world are set to explore the red planet, while Elon Musk has even grander plans

Nasa’s InSight Lander

Last week, Nasa successfully landed its InSight probe on Mars, as part of a two-year mission to study the planet’s deep interior. Nasa is also planning a rover mission for 2020, to investigate signs of life and collect data for future expeditions.

ExoMars 2020

The European Space Agency and its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, have joined forces on this mission, planned for summer 2020. Using a European rover and a Russian surface platform, the project aims to study the planet’s atmospheric gases for evidence of biological or geological activity.

China’s 2020 Probe

Landing tests are currently under way for China’s first independent mission to Mars in August 2020. It is one of four deep space exploration missions planned by China’s National Space Administration, with an asteroid probe expected in 2022 and a mission to the Jupiter system set for 2029.

Watch a video about the Emirates Mars Mission.

The Emirates Mars Mission

In the first Arab mission to another planet, the UAE Space Agency’s Hope spacecraft is to launch in July 2020. The probe, which will study the Martian atmosphere, should land in early 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE.

SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket

With high hopes for humanity’s future on Mars, Elon Musk’s space exploration company is developing a fully reusable space-launch system, set for its first cargo mission in 2022. A crewed mission is intended to follow in 2024, creating a base from which Musk hopes to develop a thriving city and, eventually, a self-sustaining civilisation.

Tasha Kleeman

The GuardianTramp

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