A Race to Mars
Recently, near July 2020, we have noticed a series of missions to the Red planet by many nations. Several countries and private agencies are competing in this space race like USA, China, India, SpaceX and many more.
In 2020, UAE launched its ‘HOPE’ mission with the help of Japan, celebrating its 50th anniversary. Followed by UAE, China launched its ‘TIANWEN-1’ to mars. And later by NASA (USA space agency) launched its mission ‘PERSEVERENCE’.
You might have noticed, all these missions were sent in the same month. You know why? Because Mars is nearest to the earth at this time and this occurs once every two years. Also, you should know that with respect to Earth, Mars has 687 days in a year!
Now, let us brief you about these missions. Firstly, the HOPE mission of UAE. It was the 1st mission of Emirates. The country aims to use it to transform global science, the nation’s space sector, and it’s economy. Secondly, TIANWEN-1 of China aims to study the target site from a reconnaissance orbit, then it will land and explore further. Last but not the least, Mission PERSEVERANCE of NASA aims for many objectives like an assessment of past life, geology, air density, and many more. Some astounding features you should know about this mission are, the rover weighs around 1 ton (1000 kg), 10 ft. in height, and installed with 23 cameras. It drives with a plutonium battery and also comprises of small helicopter weighing around 2 kg. This will also convert the carbon dioxide into oxygen, extract rock samples, etc.
Also, FYI, India has already successfully launched its mission to Mars orbit in 2014, ‘MANGALYAAN’, in the very 1st attempt and with the least budget.
As we can see, that one nation is launching for orbiting the mars, then another for landing, then another for exploring. God knows what is next. We can hope for healthy competition in this space race to not turning into a war.
A WAY AHEAD
We have seen that how all the countries are vying with each other hitherto, but now all of them have particular targets and to carry extensive research on the possible traces of life on Mars. It will be a landmark act if we find life on any other planet. But till that comes into existence, we should make sure to live with harmony and peace altogether keeping in mind some moral obligations like, environment protection, gender equality, fair trade, and avoiding wars, whether on earth or space.