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Thread: Four upcoming Mars missions

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    Four upcoming Mars missions

    Every two years or so, a launch window opens up for going to Mars. This window is for doing a Hohmann minimum-energy transfer orbit. This is the orbit that requires the smallest amount of velocity change (delta-V) at each end of the trip. This kind of orbit was described by a certain Walter Hohmann back in 1925, nearly a century ago, in a book called "The Attainability of Celestial Bodies" ("Die Erreichbarkeit der Himmelskörper") -- Hohmann transfer orbit.

    This kind of orbit is an elliptical orbit with its closest point at the Earth's orbit and its farthest point at Mars's orbit. Using the planets' mean distances, a trip to Mars takes about 8 1/2 months. A launch window recurs every 2 years 1 1/2 months.

    So far, spacecraft have been launched to Mars on 2/3 of the available launch windows since the first spacecraft to Mars in 1962. This year, no less than four spacecraft will be sent to that planet in the upcoming window this summer. They are:

    Mars 2020 rover (NASA)
    Mars 2020
    (official name not yet selected)

    Launch: 17 July to 5 August 2020
    Landing: 18 February 2021
    Site: Jezero crater

    Kazachok lander and Rosalind Franklin rover (ESA: ExoMars mission)
    Kazachok, Rosalind Franklin (rover)

    Launch: 25 July 2020
    Landing: March 2021
    Site: Oxia Planum

    Emirates/Hope Mars Mission orbiter
    Hope Mars Mission

    Launch: July 2020
    Orbit Insertion: 2021

    Huoxing-1 orbiter, lander, rover (China Mars 2020)
    Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter and Small Rover

    Launch: July 2020
    Orbit insertion: February 11 to February 24, 2021
    Landing: April 23, 2021

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Virginia Student Earns Honor of Naming NASA's Next Mars Rover | NASA - Perseverance
    The name was announced Thursday by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, during a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. Zurbuchen was at the school to congratulate seventh grader Alexander Mather, who submitted the winning entry to the agency’s "Name the Rover" essay contest, which received 28,000 entries from K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory.

    "Alex’s entry captured the spirit of exploration,” said Zurbuchen. “Like every exploration mission before, our rover is going to face challenges, and it’s going to make amazing discoveries. It’s already surmounted many obstacles to get us to the point where we are today – processing for launch. Alex and his classmates are the Artemis Generation, and they’re going to be taking the next steps into space that lead to Mars. That inspiring work will always require perseverance. We can’t wait to see that nameplate on Mars.”

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