Thursday, December 31, 2020

Solar System Missions Update 2021-01

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of January 1st 2021.

After delivering a Moon sample back to Earth, the Chinese Chang'e 5 mission is now headed to the Earth/Sun Lagrange point L1, and maybe further adventures beyond. Meanwhile, the asteroid sample return mission Hayabusa 2 has also delivered and also will go on to an extended mission with more asteroid flybys.

On the 17th the Parker Solar Probe will have its seventh perihelion at a distance of 0.095 AU, and the Mars flotilla of Perseverance, Al Amal and Tianwen is still en route to Mars, where they will land or insert into orbit in February.

Finally, if all announced launches actually happen, this year will see the most beyond-Earth launches since 1971, with as much as 9 by my count: The JWST to the Earth/Sun L2 Lagrange point, Chandrayaan 3, Luna 25, NOVA-C, Peregrine 1 (Moon landers), CAPSTONE, Artemis-1 (Moon orbiter), DART (NEO asteroid impact) and Lucy (Trojan asteroid flyby)

Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

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