When you look at that traffic, the skyway is jammed, but space traffic now that’s exciting. This is an extraordinary time to have not one not two, but three spacecraft arriving at mars from three different countries all arriving. At the same time. Applause, the first to arrive was hope, an orbiter sent by the united arab emirates, the first arab country to reach the red planet. The second to arrive was china’s, tianwen won it’s, both an orbiter and a lander. Last but not least, nasa’s perseverance is expected to land on mars. On february 18th, these gals launched in july 2020 and yes, they’ve, just been zooming through space for the last six months. Perseverance is really a step in a in a series of steps of marx exploration. Meet dr thomas z, this will be his second mars landing. So perseverance is therefore focused on search of ancient life and uh really of the geology and the climate history specifically focused on this uh crater, this very promising part of mars. The perseverance rover is headed to jezreel crater and it’ll, be the most difficult landing nasa’s ever attempted limited by the tough terrain. Perseverance is aiming for a significantly smaller target on the planet’s surface. If it misses it could be destroyed. Eight years of work gone so i did a little bit of math. This is ben guarino. He covers space and science at the post. If you compare the ratio of 4.8 miles to 300 million miles, that’s about the same scale as a one and a quarter, inch bullseye on a dart board and if you’re standing in washington dc you’d throw it and you get a bullseye in dallas 1200 miles away.

So it’s we’re talking about huge magnitudes here once it lands, it will join the curiosity rover, which has been roaming mars for over eight years, it’s very similar in design and build to the curiosity. Rover that’s been on mars for quite some time now. This is ellen stofan, she studies the surfaces of other planets and she used to be a chief scientist at nasa, but it’s got a whole new suite of instruments to study mars, and it also has a technology demonstration helicopter named ingenuity on board. We also are doing something very different on perseverance and that we’re going to cash. Some samples now cashing a sample, basically means um, picking up some rocks and putting them in a little tube. And why are we doing that? Well, because our next big mission to mars is going to be a sample return mission, so we’re going to send another spacecraft towards the end of the decade to actually pick up some of those little tubes or caches and we’re going to bring them back to earth. All three spacecraft launched the same time, but it’s, not a competition bro they had to mars and earth are only on the same side of the sun every 26 months. This is christian davenport. He also covers space and science at the post. If you don’t make that window you’re going to have to wait another two years, another 26 months to launch your spacecraft so that you have you know the shortest distance.

The other spacecraft are already successfully orbiting mars. The hope spacecraft is going to stay in orbit around mars, seeing how those dust storms on mars moves around and china as well is going to be. You know, searching for potential signs of life searching for signs of water. China’S. Spacecraft is currently orbiting mars, but they plan to land it as early as may there’s, a bit of a standoff between the us and china in space nasa is barred from working with china and china isn’t contributing to the international space community. On the other hand, the uae has been very collaborative when the uae was designing their spacecraft. They really wanted to understand what’s the us doing what have other missions accomplished, and how can we do something that adds to this great body of knowledge of how do we understand mars and how it’s evolved in the history? The uae has said uh that as soon as they start getting data back they’re going to be sharing that with the international community. This fills me with hope of what’s possible not only at mars, but also at earth. It’Ll be a nerve wracking day for sure i’m. Gon na be very, very nervous, and i never knew how i look when i’m really really nervous. My eyes are just tremendously big and fearful space is hard. This is probably one of the most difficult engineering feats that you know. Humanity faces there’s a 50 50 chance that perseverance will crash and burn it’s high risk, but high reward.