2019 was a busy year for space travel and 2020 is set to be busier. With over 10 different space missions set to take place, Mars may just become the next popular travel destination spot in a few years. Here are some of the most exciting space missions set to take place this year.
Four Mars missions- July 2020
In the summer of 2020, there are four space missions set to send spacecraft to Mars. The largest one by far will be the NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover armed with state-of-the-art technology to seek out the existence of extra-terrestrial life. In addition to this, China will be sending its own rover called Houxing-1 to study the terrain of Mars. Roscosmos will be sending the Rosalind Franklin to also search for life force and the UAE will be sending an orbiter called the Hope Mars Mission to study the planet’s atmospheric chemistry.
Commercial Crew Q1
This space mission will mark the first time American astronauts will launch into space from US soil since 2011. This mission will be led by SpaceX and Boeing and will be carrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on two different vehicles. This missions are set to place in the first quarter of 2020.
Artemis 1- November 2020
Formerly called Exploration Mission-1, this NASA mission will be the first flight of the Space Launch System, which will be the most powerful rocket in the world when it’s completely finished. The aim of the Artemis 1 mission is to send NASA’s Orion deep space capsule on an unscrewed trip around the moon. Orion will then be spending three weeks in space. However, there is a good chance that this mission may be postponed to 2021.
Chang’e 5- Late 2020
This is China’s second largest space mission to be taking place in 2020. Chang’e 5, targeted for a late 2020 launch, is China’s most audacious lunar mission yet. A lander will attempt to collect nearly 4.5 pounds of moon rocks and dust from the western edge of the near side of the moon. After the samples are gathered, an ascent vehicle will take the spacecraft back up and rendezvous with an orbiter that will send a return capsule to Earth. If successful, it will be the first lunar sample return since the Soviet Union’s 1976 Luna 24 mission.
Mega-constellation launches- year-round
Next year is when we’re going to see the effects of mass satellite networks, both good and bad. By 2020’s end, SpaceX’s Starlink will be a 720-strong satellite network, and broadband service will be made available to consumers sometime in the second half of the year, the firm claims. Meanwhile, satellite internet competitor OneWeb is expected to begin monthly launches in January, and hopes to have over 600 satellites in orbit by the end of the year. It expects to offer service to consumers before the year is over as well.
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