What space missions are we looking forward to in 2020?
This year is the biennial Mars exploration window. Therefore, the most exciting part of this year’s space program is Mars exploration. This year, four Mars probes will fly to the red planet. You will see some new faces participating in Mars exploration.
For example, the United Arab Emirates, this time, will launch a missile named
Hope’s Mars probe
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates. The probe is jointly developed by Muhammad bin Rashid Space Center of UAE, University of Colorado, University of California, Berkeley and Arizona State University.
It plans to focus on studying the atmosphere of Mars in two years to help build an “overall model” of the atmosphere of Mars. The probe will be the “first real weather satellite” on Mars. Data from the hope probe will also help to simulate the earth’s atmosphere and study its evolution over millions of years.
In addition to the UAE’s Mars probe, this year’s Mars will also be visited by the cooperation between ESA and Russian space group
Rosalind Franklin Mars rover
. The main mission of the rover is to collect and study geological samples with drill bits up to two meters below the surface of Mars, hoping to find biological molecules or biomarkers that can prove the existence of life.
The mission plans to study the environmental biophysics, the habitability of Mars in the past and present, and the possible biological characteristics of Mars surface in at least 218 Mars days or 7 earth months by using a variety of scientific instruments on the Mars rover, so as to provide more information for human landing on Mars in the future.
The highlight of this year’s Mars exploration is the US Mars 2020 mission, which was sent to Mars this year
The biggest Rover
. The design of the rover is based on the curiosity platform, but more upgrades have been made. For example, more durable wheel designs, more advanced drill bits for soil samples, and even carrying a drone that can fly on Mars.
Like the Rosalind Franklin mission, its main mission is to find signs of life on Mars. It also carries a system to convert carbon dioxide on Mars into oxygen. This system will be very important in the future manned landing on Mars.
What we are looking forward to most is the development of China
It’s too late. This is the first time for China to carry out a series of missions, such as the Chang’e (MARS) orbiter and Mars Orbiter.
To launch a global and comprehensive circumnavigation exploration on Mars. These Mars probes are expected to set off in the window period around July 2020. We will arrive on Mars in the first half of 2021, hoping that they will bring us a breakthrough discovery about Mars.
In addition to Mars exploration, the moon is also the focus of deep space exploration this year. China’s
This is the last step in the three steps of “circling, landing and returning” of China’s lunar exploration. This exploration will be followed by the launch of lunar sampling probe again after 1976.
The whole chang’e-5 is composed of orbiter, lander, ascent and returner, which constructs a complex separation and docking mode. The complex multiple rendezvous and docking will be completed automatically, and chang’e-5 is expected to achieve four “firsts” since China’s space activities. It is the first time to sample automatically on the surface of the moon; it is the first time to take off from the surface of the moon; it is the first time to conduct unmanned rendezvous and docking on the orbit of the moon beyond 380000 km; it is the first time to return to earth with lunar soil at a speed close to the second universe.
You should remember that last year, the Indian space organization’s moon ship 2 mission failed to land on the moon, but India did not give up hope and still intends to become the fourth country to land on the moon. At the beginning of the year, the Indian Space Organization announced its launch
Lunar ship 3 detector
Project, try landing on the moon again.
This time, the lunar ship 3 detector basically follows the module design of lunar ship 2 mission, with only one lander removed. They are still planning to launch a rover called pragon near the south pole of the moon to look for water nearby. However, it should be noted that although the plan is proposed this year, the actual launch may be delayed until 2021. With the experience of last time, I hope they will succeed this time.
Google lunar x Grand Prix, which was won by several unofficial teams, competed for the $30 million prize for the first robot lander to be launched to the moon. Although no team was able to complete it within the specified time, many teams participating in the Grand Prix continued to develop their lunar landers after the Grand Prix, such as the one in Israel last year
This year, there is also one such lander going to the moon, and that is the one from moon express
. Lunar express is a private space company in the United States. It has cooperation agreements with NASA and Canadian Space Agency. The MX-1 lander to be launched this year is the first mission of its lunar exploration program. The lander will be launched by the rocket laboratory’s electronic rocket system.
Landing on Mount malabot in the moon’s south pole aitoken basin. It includes three payloads, a small optical telescope in cooperation with the International Association for lunar observation, a laser retroreflector named moonlight developed by the University of Maryland in cooperation with the National Laboratory of Frascati in Italy, and a container containing some human remains for the space funeral company celestis.
After the successful landing of the launch, the lunar express company also plans to build a new one at the south pole of the moon
Permanent observation station
And the task of sampling and sample return.
This year, NASA’s Artemis return to the moon program will carry out the first phase of the mission, which will use the space launch system to launch Orion spacecraft for unmanned test flight, to test the space launch system, and will
Orion’s ability to orbit and return to the moon
This is a very critical step in the whole plan. If successful, it will pave the way for the future construction of the lunar portal space station and manned landing on the moon.
In terms of asteroid exploration, it’s time to start in 2016
Hades asteroid probe
The asteroid Benu will be sampled in July and returned to earth in 2023.
Launched in 2014
Japanese Falcon 2
We have completed the sampling of the asteroid “Dragon Palace” and are on the journey back to earth. We will approach the earth at the end of this year and send back samples from asteroids.
There will be more in 2020
Two solar detectors are launched
In the next few years after its launch, ESA’s solar orbiter will use the gravity of Venus and the earth to lift its orbit above the two poles of the sun, providing a new perspective for solar observation.
It will be placed on the halo orbit of Lagrange L1 point, about 1.5 million kilometers away from the earth, to directly observe the solar particle flux, magnetic flux and other parameters.
In 2020, a large number of Internet satellites will be deployed to enter the stage of large-scale construction.
The third batch of 60 satellite chains was deployed again on January 7. According to the plan, 24 batches will be deployed in 2020. By the end of this year, up to 1617 satellite chains will be in orbit.
When 800 satellites are deployed in mid-2020, the satellite chain will be officially launched for commercial use, providing the first satellite internet access service for North America. One network company of the United States also plans to launch and deploy at least 300 satellites to form an Internet constellation this year by using Arians’ Russian made Soyuz rocket. In the next two years, a total of 650 satellites will be launched.
Wild goose constellation
One belt, one road area and one belt, one road area will be built in 2020 to launch 30 satellites, and build a 2+4+2 system to realize the “one belt and one road” regional commercial operation.
The earth’s low earth orbit will enter an unprecedented crowded state. 2020 will be a busy year. We expect all these space missions to be successful. 2020 will be a year of miracle and history.