NASA, Europe, India, China, United Arab Emirates, and SpaceX are planning Martian missions to take advantage of the launch opportunity in three years.
July 2020 will be significant. Since half a dozen rockets from around the world will be preparing to launch an armadrome of rovers, landing gear and orbiters, to find out if the earth’s neighbor has or has had life, and also to test technologies for later human arrival.
The turmoil of launches occurs because of the need to get into the optimal 20-day launch window, which opens every 26 months (Earth and Mars are in an advantageous position).
Long-term planetary researchers from NASA and the European Space Agency are taking part, sending sophisticated rovers to explore life. NASA Mars 2020 Mars rover will continue the work of Curiosity, which since August 2012 has been studying habitat in the Gale crater.
Like Curiosity, Mars 2020 will resemble a small car. He will search for evidence of life and collect samples for possible shipment to Earth. The rover should start in July 2020 and reach Mars in February 2021. “Skipping the window in 2020 will cause significant additional costs associated with reserve labor, replacement of degraded parts and components and storage until the next launch,” says a NASA report released in January.
European rover ExoMars uses a more direct approach to the search for life. It can drill up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) in the surface to detect microbial activity. It is expected that the rover will launch on the Russian rocket “Proton” in August 2020 and arrive on the Red Planet in 8 months.
The Indian spacecraft will join them to continue to demonstrate the current Mangalyan technology. France is collaborating with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for a mission that may include a rover.
In addition, a private company will take part in the race. SpaceX Ilona Mask, which already excited the aerospace industry with cheap prices and reusable rockets, was planning to launch an unmanned capsule to Mars during its launch in 2018. However, having resumed flying in January after the accident and having done a lot of work on the space taxi for NASA (upgraded rocket engine and heavy payload launch debut flight), company president Gwynn Shotwell announced last month that the dates had shifted to 2020. The SpaceX Red Dragon mission will join the newcomers from China who are developing an orbiter, a landing gear and a small rover, as well as the United Arab Emirates creating the Martian meteorological satellite Hope.
NASA hopes that such a stir will bring a profitable partnership. But time is ticking.
Current versions of Martian vehicles are aging. When the new spacecraft arrives in 2021, Curiosity will no longer have enough energy to move, and two NASA orbital stations and orbital communication stations are likely to fail. So says the director of the Mars research program at NASA, Jim Vatsin.
“The big success in Martian research is overshadowed by the fact that everything has a limit to life,” he said. - “Obviously, the familiar era of learning ends at the end of the decade.”
Although, we are waiting for a new beginning.