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Mars This Month

Part of Space Exploration and Mars

What's happening over the next two weeks?

Three space missions are due to reach Mars very soon - keep a watch on the news for updates.

Mars Satellite (Tuesday 9 February)

The first one is on Tuesday 9 February and was built by the United Arab Emirates and is a satellite that will transmit data back to Earth. Its job will be to monitor the weather system and what the atmosphere is made up of so we can hopefully further develop our knowledge of climate change.

See to watch live and you can also see it's journey Track Hope Probe Live (which is a great way to understand the path all missions to Mars travel).

Mars Rover Tainwen-1 (Wednesday 10 February)

China has also launched a Mars Rover Tainwen-1 - which means the quest for heavenly truth. Although it will enter Mars orbit around Wednesday 10 February it will not land on Mars until May. It plans to search for underground water and evidence of possible ancient life! This spacecraft consists of an orbiter and a lander - the lander will hopefully travel around the planet surface for around three months, but the orbiter will hopefully be hanging around for two years.

Mars Perseverance (Thursday 18 February)

NASA's most recent Mars mission left Earth at the end of July last year and will land on Mars a week on (Thursday 18 February) - yes next week! How exciting. As we found out more than half of all missions to Mars have not succeeded with crash landings or blowing up as they enter the atmosphere. The team working in this area are learning all the time and improving and modifying their designs so hopefully, this mission will be successful. Don’t forget to watch live!

NASA's Perseverance Rover has 19 cameras on board so the images it will send back to Earth will hopefully be outstanding! We should be able to see the landing - Don’t forget to watch!

Watch Landing Live

Perseverance has a mini-helicopter on board called Ingenuity, and it will be the first rotorcraft (a rotary winged aircraft) to fly on another planet. It will be powered by a solar panel and will have a wee camera on board.

The main mission for Perseverance is to sample rocks with the hope they can be brought back to Earth. Searching for ancient signs of microbial life is of course, the main area of interest!

Don't forget to try the 3D model of the NASA Perseverance Rover below (you can zoom in and out to see more detail).

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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