Even though the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc all across the world in 2020, the space industry achieved some noted milestones last year, that include the delivery of astronauts twice to the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA and SpaceX.
Apart from this, NASA collected valuable beans of debris from asteroid Bennu, and now, three Mars missions are en route to the Red Planet. IBTimes India presents you with a list of five crucial space milestones that humans could achieve in 2021.
Expect Chandrayaan-3 launch in 2021
In an attempt to affirm dominance in the space industry, Indian tried to land an unmanned probe on the moon in 2019. However, things went awry, and due to a software glitch, the Chandrayaan-2 probe unexpectedly crashlanded on the lunar surface.
India is expected to launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2021. Earlier, the mission was supposed to have its launch in 2020, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, ISRO postponed the launch. And now, space industry experts believe that Chandrayaan-3 will be launched this year, as India is one of the frontrunners aiming at Moon.
The crucial Perseverance landing on Mars
February 18 will be a crucial day for NASA and sometimes even for the entire humanity. On this date, NASA's Perseverance rover will land on Mars at approximately 12:30 PM PST.
After landing on the Red Planet, the Perseverance rover will check whether Mars was once home to alien life. Space scientists also believe that the success of the Perseverance rover will also play a crucial role in materializing the ultimate goal of Mars colonization.
China's Mars mission Tianwen-1
It was in July 2020 that China launched Tianwen-1 to Mars. The probe is expected to enter the Martian orbit in February, and the mission will make its soft landing in April or May.
The Tianwen-1 mission is considered a very crucial Martian mission, as an orbiter will continue to circle the red planet, and two spacecraft; a Mars lander, and a rover will be steered to the surface. As several Mars missions have failed in the recent past, the Tianwen-1 mission will be a crucial and daring space program for China.
NASA's asteroid hunt
Lucy is one of the most ambitious missions by NASA, and this space program will attempt to visit eight asteroids in the next 10 years. The mission is expected to have its launch on October 16, 2020. Through this mission, NASA aims to study Trojans, a group of asteroids that could harbor clues to the origin of the solar system.
James Webb Telescope
On October 31, NASA is expected to launch its next-generation telescope named James Webb. James Webb telescope is a successor to the Hubble, and this advanced telescope could help the United States space agency to unveil several mysteries in the universe.