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Mars 2020: The hunt for life on the red planet is about to get serious

The sudden flurry of activity is a result of planetary dynamics: every two or so years, the orbits of Earth and Mars align so that the two bodies are at their closest to each other

Topics
NASA | Mars Mission | NASA Mars mission

Monica Grady | The Coversation 



Perseverance rover
Perseverance will take samples from a range of different rock types as it traverses the crater floor.

Next spring is going to be a busy time for Mars. In close succession, three spacecraft will arrive at the planet, joining the dozen or so craft already circling Mars. Two of the spacecraft were launched in the past couple of weeks by newcomers to martian exploration: the United Arab Emirates’ Al-Amal (meaning Hope) and China’s Tianwen-1 (which means Question to Heaven).

The third vessel will be NASA’s Mars 2020, containing the Perseverance rover, which just took off successfully from Florida. While this rover will be just one of many on the red planet, it is our best bet for finding life there for the time being.

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First Published: Sat, August 01 2020. 12:41 IST

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