In July, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States (US) want to send missions to Mars. The UAE is next in line: the country wants to ascend to the red planet on Tuesday, July 14. China plans to depart between July 20-25 and the first US launch is planned for July 30.

China and the US plan to land on the surface of Mars. The UAE is sending a satellite to the red planet. Actually, the European space agency ESA also wanted to send a rover to Mars this month, but this mission had to be postponed by two years. Technical issues in the lander could not be resolved in time for the planned launch date.

July 2020 is an appropriate time for a Mars launch, due to the position of the planet relative to Earth. Only once every 26 months are the red and blue planets conveniently enough that a launch can be carried out properly.

So if a party fails to launch this month, they will have to wait until 2022. That is why ESA has postponed the launch of the Rosalind Franklin rover until then.

Arab 'Hope' mission is first Mars mission through Islamic country

The UAE Hope Mission is the first interplanetary mission carried out by an Islamic country. The government organization Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center has collaborated with two American universities for this.

With the satellite, the UAE wants to investigate the atmosphere of Mars, as well as the weather and climate on the celestial body. With this, scientists hope to learn more about how Mars turned into the cold desert it is today. The Emirates also hope to inspire a new generation of engineers with the trip to Mars.

The UAE does not yet have its own launch capability and will use a Japanese missile.

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Who will win the space race to Mars?

China wants to become a third country on Mars

With the Tianwen-1 mission, China is sending both a satellite and a lander with a rover. If this lander successfully lands on the red surface of Mars, China will be the third country to ever set foot on the planet. This follows the US and the Soviet Union. Europe has also tried to land, but without success.

Tianwen-1 will look for traces of life, try to map the surface of the planet, investigate the atmosphere and analyze the structure of the surface.

A concept for the Tianwen lander is suspended from a cable high above the ground. The test required the vehicle to hover above the ground and then make a soft landing. (Photo: Pro Shots)

VS will search for (traces of) life

If everything goes well, the US space agency NASA will send the Perseverance rover to the red planet on July 30. If July 30 fails, the organization has until August 15 to try it.

Perseverance, like Tianwen-1, must search for traces of life or past life on Mars. The vehicle can conduct soil research and merge Martian soil into 'packages'. These packets must be picked up on a later mission and sent to Earth. The vehicle will also measure the weather of Mars, among other things.

The mission will also take a helicopter with which NASA wants to find out whether flying vehicles are suitable for exploring Mars. Finally, the rover carries the names of 10.9 million people from all over the world on three chips. People were able to enter their names during a special action, which included 52,347 Dutch people.

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NASA helicopter is ready to travel to Mars