Carberry & Zucker: Are we going to Mars in 2020?

By | February 3, 2020

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Are we going to Mars in 2020? Yes! A convoy of spacecraft will seemingly be heading to Mars this summer, when four robotic missions from across the globe will seemingly be launched to the Purple Planet. Amongst those missions will seemingly be The US’s 2020 Rover, with a scheduled birth date in July, which is capable of be NASA’s most formidable Mars mission up to now.

The 2020 Rover is per chance no longer on my own. Three varied missions will furthermore be heading to Mars this summer.

The European Build Agency (ESA), in partnership with the Russian house company Roscomos, is scheduled to birth the ExoMars rover. This rover is no longer going to only have the option to traverse the Martian floor, but this would possibly perhaps occasionally furthermore lift a drill designed to do away with samples as much as a depth of two meters beneath the floor to look for signs of life (previous or direct).


Moreover as, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is furthermore anticipated to hitch the desire group of international locations which possess despatched missions to Mars. To designate the 50th anniversary of their independence, the UAE will seemingly be launching their ‘Hope’ orbiter that would possibly perhaps analyze the Martian ambiance.

China furthermore understands the scientific and technological importance of Mars exploration. Their Huoxing-1 mission will birth carrying an orbiter and rover. As with the 2020 Rover and ExoMars, draw to be among the key missions of the Chinese language mission is to look for proof of life.


Certainly, the Mars 2020 rover, which is basically basically basically based on the same obtain because the Curiosity rover of 2012, will lift a worthy payload of instruments that would possibly perhaps per chance well no longer only aid to enable us to send folks to Mars in the 2030s but would possibly perhaps per chance well furthermore desire whether or no longer life has ever existed on the Purple Planet:

  • MOXIE (Mars OXygen In situ helpful resource utilization Experiment): MOXIE would be the key in-situ helpful resource utilization (ISRU) experiment ever despatched to Mars. It is some distance designed to direct a mode for extracting oxygen from the carbon dioxide in the ambiance. This oxygen will seemingly be aged no longer ravishing for propellant on future missions but furthermore for the crew to breathe. MOXIE is a needed step to aid desire whether or no longer humanity will have the option to rating basically the most of native sources to “dwell off the land” on the planet.
  • Mars helicopter: A exiguous helicopter will seemingly be carried on the 2020 Rover. If this exiguous vehicle succeeds, this would be the key airplane to fly on Mars or on any planet varied than Earth. Helicopters/drones would possibly perhaps per chance well have the option to explore areas which are otherwise inaccessible – akin to cliff sides – and screen some distance extra territory than rovers and at a resolution that cannot be executed by present orbital resources. This skill would possibly perhaps per chance well at some point explore terrain and title science targets upfront of human crews.
  • Pattern return: The 2020 Rover will furthermore do away with and cache samples of soil deposits (furthermore identified as regolith) that would possibly perhaps be retrieved accurate thru a later mission for a return to Earth. The regolith serene by the 2020 Rover would be the key samples ever brought merit to our house planet for analysis. These samples is no longer going to only aid assess whether or no longer there turned into ever life on Mars, but will furthermore direct our working out of guidelines on how to obtain human habitats, suits, and rovers for the Martian ambiance and of doable human health hazards (akin to breathing hazards) in the regolith. This could furthermore be the key demonstration of a spherical-day out mission to and from Mars.
  • Gape for previous life: The 2020 Rover will furthermore investigate whether or no longer Mars turned into ever liveable in the previous and this would possibly perhaps occasionally look for signs that the planet sustained microbial life at one time.

By no formula earlier than has there been such an intensive suite of international investigations of Mars or any varied destination in house.

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Because the US quickens its plans to return to the Moon and then to send folks to Mars, this 2020 Mars caravan would possibly perhaps per chance well no longer be extra perfectly timed. These missions will generate a model of secondary advantages, alongside with:

  • Constructing public pleasure: When the Curiosity rover landed, it generated a huge quantity of public pleasure and passion in Mars exploration. That pleasure will seemingly be eclipsed by the historic missions being launched in 2020.
  • Preserving mission planners considering Mars: Because the US and its companions draw for a return to the Moon by the mid-2020s, they possess to obtain those plans in a formula that does no longer hinder, but comparatively advances, the aim of sending folks to Mars. 
  • Helping to present an explanation for ‘why’ we’re sending folks to Mars.
  • Clearly demonstrating that your whole world sees the importance of Mars exploration.           


Every of these missions to be launched in 2020 is scheduled to strategy at Mars in early 2021.  If these missions are successful, they would possibly perhaps well completely aid us to realise the nature of life in the universe and aid guarantee that human life will seemingly be on the floor of Mars contained in the next 15 years.

Rick Zucker is Vice President, Protection of Stumble on Mars, Inc.

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