In the next two weeks three spacecraft will arrive at Mars, including two orbiters and two rovers. This post is simply a heads up so that my readers will know what to expect and when to expect it.
First, we have the arrival in Mars orbit of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Hope orbiter on February 9th at 10:30 am (Eastern). The spacecraft was built in a partnership with U.S. universities and the UAE. Once in orbit it will focus on studying the Martian atmosphere.
Next will arrive China’s Tianwen-1 orbiter on February 10th. The exact time it will do its engine burn to enter orbit has not been announced, as far as I can tell. Once in orbit it will begin a four month reconnaissance of the landing site for its presently unnamed rover, which will descend to the surface in May.
Finally, on February 18th at 12:55 am (Pacific) the American rover Perseverance will land in Jezero Crater on Mars. Essentially an upgraded copy of the Curiosity rover, it will land in the same way, lowered by cables from its re-entry sky crane rocket above it. It will then spend years studying the geology of Mars, while also storing samples that a later mission can recover and return to Earth.
All in all February is going to be an exciting month for the exploration of Mars. Stay tuned for some cool stuff!
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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