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July 13-19, 2020 / Vol 39, No 28 / Hawai`i Island, USA

10 Jul 2020, 20:41 UTC
July 13-19, 2020 / Vol 39, No 28 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Month of Mars Missions: 1st Attempt for Both UAE and China, 26th for USA

UAE Al-Amal “Hope” Probe is ready to launch via JAXA H2A from Tanegashima Launch Center July 14. Hope will travel 493M km in 7 months, arriving February 2021 in honor of 50th anniversary of 1971 emirates founding. The operational 2-year mission in a 55-hour elliptical orbit will take a holistic approach to study Mars climate and atmosphere with 3 sensors: high-res multiband camera, infrared spectrometer, ultraviolet spectrometer. UAE plans to build a human settlement on Mars by 2117. Zhongguo / China first Mars mission, Tianwen-1 “Heavenly Questions”, is on track for July 23 Long March 5 Y4 launch from Wenchang, Hainan Island 19° N. The mission carries 13 payloads on 3,175-kg orbiter, lander and 240-kg rover – and aims to arrive at Utopia Planitia between 20°-50°W, 20°-30°N. It will use radar, perform soil chemical analyses and look for biosignatures. Mars sample return mission, similar to the lunar Chang’e-5 launching later this year, would launch before 2030. NASA Perseverance Rover is set to join 5 operational USA missions at Mars, launching July 30 from Cape Canaveral AFS FL on ULA Atlas 5. It will carry 7 instruments, ...

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