Intergalactic updates on what’s happening in the Great Beyond3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
It’s been a busy past few weeks in outer space. Missions to other planets, a company’s plans to fly a very famous person to outer space, and last but not least, some more astronauts flying in outer space. Let’s get right to it.
China makes it to Mars
First up on our list is China’s mission to Mars. Following the US, China became the second country to land on Mars. With it’s Tiawen-1 mission, China hopes to catch up to the US on the red planet. The Zhurong rover reached Mars in February 2021, and was orbiting for a few days, but landed recently. Since this is China’s first time on the red planet, it hopes to accomplish a lot. It will first hope to catch up with everything on the red planet’s surface, including taking rock samples. Following that, the Zhurong rover will bring back materials to test Mars’s atmosphere, especially the layer known as the ionosphere. The rover will also examine Mars’s gravitational and electromagnetic fields. China’s accomplishments with this Mars landing has brought pride throughout the whole country about China’s space adventures.
Venus will soon have a new visitor
The US is interested in another one of Earth’s neighbors. After landing the Perseverance rover on Mars earlier this year, the US is hoping to reach and examine the hottest planet in the solar system, Venus. With it’s hostile atmosphere and harsh weather, Venus is sure to pose a challenge for any space agency, but NASA is on the case. The exact timing is undetermined, but NASA hopes to finish its work on these space probes by 2026 and get them on the launchpad.
Jeff Bezos to visit space
Jeff Bezos hopes to beat Elon Musk as the first civilian to go to space. His space company, Blue Origin, isn’t very happy with the outcome of its application to NASA to build a Mars space probe for humans (SpaceX won). But they have something else to look forward to. In July 2021, Blue Origin will launch its very first human into space. Yes, Bezos is taking a big risk by going on the mission, but it shows his trust in his company and hard work he has put in to build it.
China’s space station has humans arriving
Ever since the founding of the ISS, the US barred China from entering it. The US had deemed China a threat to the ISS. But, China had no chance to collaborate with other countries or have a space station of their own. When they began their ambitious adventure to build a space station earlier this year, it was highly unlikely they would be launching humans. But now, with the help of Russia, China will soon have some humans up in space. Russia backed up China, and will be leaving the ISS soon. This is a big step forward for China and an ambitious undertaking, but China seems determined to prove its space prowess this year (see Mars mission above).