The Emirates Mars Mission, the first deep space probe from the Arab world, is set to swing into orbit around the Red Planet on Tuesday to cap a 494 million-kilometre, 205-day interplanetary voyage from Earth and begin a science mission studying the Martian climate. The critical Mars Orbit Insertion manoeuvre is scheduled to begin at 1530 GMT.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has begun its descent toward a touch and go landing on asteroid Bennu at 11:12 p.m. BST (2212 GMT) Tuesday. The craft will attempt to collect samples from the asteroid’s gravely surface for return to Earth in 2023 for scientists to search for clues about the origins and evolution of the Solar System.
Persevering through a global pandemic, a last-minute earthquake, and the trials of a rocket launch, NASA’s next Mars rover — named Perseverance — took off from Cape Canaveral on a nearly seven-month journey to the Red Planet with sophisticated science instruments, technology to collect samples for to Earth, and the first interplanetary helicopter that could produce a “Wright Brothers moment” on another world.
Launches of interplanetary missions can only depart Earth when the positions of the planets are just right, and officials managing the development of probes set for launch in 2021 and 2022 to explore asteroids and Jupiter says construction milestones and reviews are proceeding to keep the projects on schedule despite the coronavirus pandemic.