It’s that time of year again when we reflect on the space highlights of 2020 and look forward to those coming up in 2021.
Three Mars missions are set to arrive at the Red Planet, including NASA’s Mars 2020 rover. The missions launched in July 2020 during a critical window of alignment between Earth and Mars.
The James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch. Hubble’s successor, Webb could change our understanding of the most distant events and objects in the universe, such as the formation of the first galaxies.
50 years after Apollo 14 and 15, NASA’s plans to return to the Moon are gathering speed. The Artemis Team of astronauts has been selected, including Stephanie Wilson who visited the National Space Centre in 2006. NASA plans to land the first woman and next man to walk on the lunar surface in 2024.
James Webb Space Telescope Originally planned for 2007, there is a high chance we will finally see the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2021.
The long-term successor to Hubble, Webb will primarily use infrared vision to be able to look out further into the Universe than ever possible before. The 21ft primary mirror will help scientists get a closer look at exoplanets with the right conditions for life and will also see the most distant objects in the Universe, allowing us to study the formation of the first galaxies.
When Webb does launch it will be a game-changer with the potential to change our understanding of the Universe and life itself. Having been delayed numerous times, the launch date has now been set for 31 October.