2021: A year of space tourism, flights on Mars, China’s rise

Several tycoons of the world consider that the future of humanity is in outer space. During this year some missions and explorations in space were presented. These were the space projects of 2021.

The Perseverance
On February 18, after a nearly seven-month journey from Earth to Mars, NASA’s Perseverance, a 6-wheeled, 10-foot-long rover, reached the Red Planet. The rover’s astrobiology mission is to search for signs of past microbial life. It will characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

China lands on Mars
On May 15, a Chinese explorer reached the Martian surface on its first mission to the red planet, something that had only been achieved before, after several attempts, by the United States.

The explorer Zhurong -named after a god of fire from Chinese mythology- landed on a plain of Utopia Planitia, in the northern hemisphere of the planet, after which he managed to send signals to Earth, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). ).

Since the historic first flight of the Ingenuity helicopter on April 19 this year, when it hovered about 3 meters above the Martian surface for 30 seconds, the capabilities of this device have been progressively tested, making it fly farther and faster. .

Blue Origin
In July this year, the first manned flight of the space tourism company Blue Origin took place. It will take off on Tuesday with four passengers on board, three men and one woman, who settled behind large windows so as not to miss anything of the show.

At 57, Jeff Bezos, the richest man on Earth, traveled aboard his own rocket: the New Shepard spacecraft, built by Blue Origin, the company he founded in 2000.

The rocket, named New Shepard after the first American to reach space, Alan Shepard, took off from West Texas and traveled beyond the Kármán Line, an internationally recognized space boundary 100 kilometers from the planet.

Later, in October the company made another trip to space. On this occasion, one of the travelers was actor William Shatner. Additionally, two men and one woman attended, on the New Shepard, which departed from West Texas (USA).

Space X
In March of this year, a new batch of 60 satellites of the Starlink internet network were launched into orbit with a Falcon 9 rocket from the SpaceX company. The Falcon 9 blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex in east-central Florida on March 11.

Also, the Dragon spacecraft and the four Inspiration4 crew members, the world’s first all-civilian mission in orbit, returned to Earth on September 18. This was Elon Musk’s first SpaceX space tourism mission.

Inspiration members studied the behavior of the human body in space, as well as observing the planet from a dome.

Virgin Galactic
In July, British billionaire Richard Branson landed in New Mexico, in the southwestern United States, after spending a few minutes on the frontier of space aboard a ship from his company Virgin Galactic, a trip he had always dreamed of and a milestone for space tourism.