China, the US and the UAE are all gearing up for historic Mars launches this month with the hopes of discovering more about Earth’s dusty neighbour. Starting with China, the new space force will be launching an orbiter known as Tianwen-1, which translates to ‘the quest for heavenly truth’ to circle to Red Planet. The orbiter will spend a year around Mars, serving as a communication relay for humanity’s eventual arrival with the launch date scheduled between July 20 and July 25.
Alongside the orbiter, China will send a rover to roam the surface of the Red Planet and collect soil samples.
China National Space Agency (CNSA) chief mission architect Zhang Rongqiao said: “Our goal is to explore and gather as much scientific data as possible.”
The UAE is also launching an orbiter named The Hope, which will spend two years orbiting Mars, following a 200-day journey.
According to The Hill, the UAE’s primary objective is to flex its financial muscle and show the world what it is capable of in the space exploration industry as the appeal of oil, which UAE has in abundance, loses its appeal.
Finally, NASA will send the Perseverance Rover “no earlier than July 30”, which will roam the Red Planet looking for signs of life – both past and present.
NASA said: “The main instrument, the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC), will be mounted on the end of one of the Mars rover’s robotic arms.
SHERLOC will emit a quarter-sized ultraviolet laser at the ground.
Space scientists will then measure the way the light scatters when it hits the ground to work out what kind of minerals and chemical compounds it is made from.