NASA’s Curiosity rover, nearing its eighth anniversary on Mars, will welcome U.S. and Chinese rovers next February, along with an orbiter from the United Arab Emirates. They will have their work cut out for them matching Curiosity’s achievements.
Watch live as the countdown ticks toward the launch of an Atlas 5 rocket Thursday from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. The two-hour launch window opens at 12:50 p.m. BST (1150 GMT).
A heavy-lift Long March 5 rocket propelled China’s first Mars landing mission toward the Red Planet on Thursday after launching from a seaside spaceport on Hainan Island, the second of three international Mars probes expected to depart planet Earth this month.
Riding a Japanese rocket, the Arab world’s first interplanetary probe departed planet Earth on Sunday to begin a seven-month journey to Mars on a dual mission of scientific exploration and proving the mettle of the UAE’s growing space programme.