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NASA seems to have a lot scheduled for 2021 going by its calendar

2020 may not have had many activities going about, given the coronavirus global pandemic. Despite that, Space was a totally different story. For instance, NASA and SpaceX managed to send astronauts to the International Space Station not once but twice in 2020. The Crew Dragon capsule made the missions a success on both occasions. The landing of the Japanese capsule carrying the very first sample from an asteroid’s surface was also a milestone as far as Space is concerned. Although it is yet to land, NASA managed to take a similar sample from the Bennu asteroid.

In July last year, three missions about landing on Mars happened. In collaboration with the United Arab Emirates and China, NASA is expecting a spacecraft landing early this year coming from Mars. So, it is evident that last year was not bad for Space as it was on Earth. That has encouraged NASA to schedule other missions for this year. Here is a discussion of some of them.

Despite the SpaceX SN8 test resulting in an explosion in December last year, it might not take more than a month for the SN9 test to take place. February will be yet another excellent month for Space as it is expected that NASA’s Perseverance lover will land on Mars then. Additionally, the Hope Mars probe by the United Arab Emirates will start studying the atmosphere of Mars around that time if things go as planned.

The Large Hadron Collider is likely to be powered again in March 2021. The launch of Boeing Starliner OFT-2 is scheduled for 29th March. There is something that will depend on its success or failure. If the fate is the former, its first crewed test flight to the ISS will occur in June. On 22nd July, NASA has planned to crush on the Didymos moon in an asteroid. Chinese Tianwen-1 rover night also lands on Mars in either April or May.

Come October, BepiColombo will fly past Mercury, and NASA’s Lucy and James Webb Telescope launches are planned to take place. The 2021 eclipse will take place on 4th December around areas surrounding Antarctica. The first Artemis mission might take place late this year or next year as NASA plans to return humans to Mars in 2024. There is a possibility of the Indian ISRO launching the Chandrayaan-3 this year. It became impossible to do so in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Equally important, there will be meteor showers that people should strive to watch come in 2021. One of them, Quadrantids, has already happened. Upcoming ones include Lyrids in April, Eta Aquariids in May, Perseids in August, Draconids & Orionids in October, Leonids in November, and Geminids & Ursids come December. So, the year is packed with Space events, no doubt. All that is left is to wait and see.

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