Though 2020 was a daunting year in the wake of the COVID-19 disease outbreak for the space sector (and everybody else), many promising missions that will deploy or hit their targets in 2021 have started to press forward. We will see space travel beginning to spread around the solar system, from Mars to asteroids, humans, robots, and even more. We can also see several new rockets from firms such as Firefly Aerospace as well as Relativity Space taking off. This is what we are looking forward to:
1 Three nations land on Mars
The space sector is quickly expanding and, it appears, the Red Planet is the hottest mission destination. With the Perseverance rover, NASA will keep on going its long-running quest for life, hiding Martian materials for eventual study on Earth and testing the very first Mars helicopter, named Ingenuity. The groundbreaking Tianwen-1 mission from China, the nation’s first Mars mission, would see lander and an orbiter as well as rover all discovering more on the Red Planet. To motivate the’ next generation,’ the United Arab Emirates has sent its first flight, Hope orbiter, to Mars.
2 Second Uncrewed Test Mission for Starliner
When the Starliner Orbital Test Flight-1 (OFT-1) commercial crew flew into space in the year 2019, Boeing had a range of problems; it did not hit the International Space Station as anticipated, and that both NASA as well as the company examined and applied some learnings for another try in 2021. Since fixing the software problems that stopped Starliner from achieving its destination on the first attempt, Boeing intends to deploy a second try on March 29, 2021. If Boeing achieves, after SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, this will render Starliner the second private crew spacecraft authorized to carry astronauts to orbit.
3 Starliner crew test flight
Boeing expects to send three space explorers to the ISS (International Space Station) no sooner than June 2021, provided the Starliner completes its uncrewed flight test. NASA explorers Nicole Mann, Mike Fincke, and Barry Butch Wilmore will be flying the first crewed test flight for Boeing. Originally designated to head the mission, Boeing explorer Chris Ferguson resigned from the often postponed flight in 2020 on the month of October citing personal reasons.
4 The Japanese rover is riding the 1st Vulcan rocket at ULA
The first lunar rover in Japan, Yaoki, will launch on the rookie program of the latest Vulcan Centaur rocket from the United Launch Alliance in the year 2021. The latest booster would phase out the Russian-built engines that propelled the lengthy Atlas line of ULA, substituting them with Blue Origin motors.
On a flight funded by the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative of NASA, Yaoki will reach the moon together with the Pittsburgh-based corporation Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander. The cremated ashes of renowned science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke will be placed on the moon if this project goes as scheduled.