3 missions launched to Mars in mid-July
The solar system is about to get busy! A slew of spacecraft embarked on a one-way journey to Mars, to seek evidence of past life and to further investigate its unusual atmosphere. The back-to-back missions are timed to take advantage of the short window of opportunity — caused by celestial mechanics — that will allow them to reach the Red Planet, MARS, in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.Earth, as you probably know, takes 365 days to orbit the Sun, while Mars moves at a slower pace, completing its rotation around the star in 687 days, or about 1.88 Earth years. However, about once every 26 months, the two planets briefly align. Since they are the closest to each other at this point, the journey between the two worlds takes the least amount of time, making it the ideal time to send missions. The current window of opportunity began on July 15, 2020, and ends on August 15, 2020, and the next one will not occur until September 2022.