This perfect alignment comes every 26 months, when Mars and Earth happen to be on the same side of the sun and are closer than usual.
The summer of 2020 was supposed to witness multiple space launches all the way to Red planet, which we desis love to regard as the ‘Mangal’ (literally meaning auspicious). And unlike everything that the COVID-19 has placed a brake on this year, most Mars missions are continuing to accelerate at their designated pace, and schedules.
A total of four space missions were supposed to get launched to Mars inn 2020, which includes three rovers from various space agencies all over the world.
Last week China launched its Tianwen-1 (carrying a rover) and United Arab Emirates launched its Hope Probe from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC). On Thursday, 30th July, NASA is scheduled to launch its Perseverance rover. However, the Mars mission of European Space Agency in collaboration with Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS had to be postponed due to Coronavirus pandemic.
How 2020 becomes so important for Martian space missions?
For comparison, the global favourite space exploration spot of 2000s – the Moon – had just six missions in total between 2000 and 2009. The obvious technological advancement ever since has its due role to play, along with some encouraging life-supporting evidences which the previous Mars missions have collected. But the reason goes much deeper than that which is pushing Space Agencies to launch their missions specifically in the summer of 2020.
The precise moment to fly from Earth to Mars comes every 26 months. This is because the planets do not move in circular orbits, they are more elliptical or oval shaped. And also, since the Martian neighbour (Jupiter’s gaseous composition) continues to affect the shape of Martian orbit, a near-perfect alignment becomes all the more important.
This perfect alignment comes every 26 months, when Mars and Earth happen to be on the same side of the sun and are closer than usual. Since Mars is closer to Earth during this time, it means fuel needs to be put on the spacecraft, drastically reducing the rare resources that Space Missions are suppo