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Mars: China, US, and UAE to launch rockets to Red Planet in search of life
Space agencies all over the world are shifting focus towards Mars as well as the mission of searching for alien life in the universe. This month, three countries hope to get a head start in the search for life, starting with a mission to Mars.
Express reports that three countries: China, the United States, and the UAE all plan to launch their rockets this month to the red planet. As to why this month, it is because July and August are when both Earth and Mars are at their closest points within the Solar System. China will be launching a rocket first, an orbiter named Tianwen-1, its name meaning “the quest for heavenly truth.” China’s orbiter will be orbiting Mars for a year, and its expected launch date would be between July 20 and July 25. China will also be landing a rover to collect soil samples.
The UAE will be next in launching a rocket to Mars, named “The Hope,” and will spend a year more than China in orbiting the red planet. The UAE hopes that through this mission, they can show that they are also capable of space exploration, aside from being known for its oil, which has eventually lost appeal despite being abundant in it.
Lastly, NASA will be launching its Perseverance Rover sometime before July 30, which will be looking for signs of life or signs of life having once been present on the red planet. The instrument within the Perseverance Rover is called SHERLOC or Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals and will be emitting a laser into Mars’s terrain to analyze the compounds and elements found in Martian soil.
Aside from NASA launching its Perseverance rover to Mars, Dr. Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society revealed that Elon Musk’s space agency SpaceX will be collaborating with the agency again for an upcoming mission also to the red planet.
“Before 2030. SpaceX will do it, with NASA collaborating. If Starship is flying regularly to LEO (or Low Earth Orbit) by 2024, the next president will ask his or her advisers: Can we get to Mars before the end of my second term? The answer will be ‘yes’ so then it will happen,” said Dr. Zubrin.