Upcoming Mission Milestones
- 16 October 2020: BepiColombo Venus flyby 1
- 20 October 2020: OSIRIS-REx sample collection attempt
- 23 October 2020: Crew Dragon Crew-1 ISS flight
- NET Late October: Space Launch System Artemis 1 hotfire test
- Late November: Chang'e-5 launch
- 6 December 2020: Hayabusa2 Earth sample return
- NET December 2020: Starliner uncrewed flight test
- 31 January 2021: Apollo 14 50th anniversary
- 18 February 2021: Perseverance Mars landing
- February 2021: Hope Mars arrival
- February 2021: Tianwen-1 Mars arrival
- 3 March 2021: OSIRIS-REx departs Bennu
- NET 30 March 2021: Crew Dragon Crew-2 ISS flight
Venus was one of the first planets to be visited by spacecraft from Earth. Probes do not last long on the surface, where the atmosphere is 50 times denser than Earth's and temperatures are hot enough to melt lead.
Earth, Planetary Defense & Space Telescopes
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is a robotic mission mapping the Moon's surface. LRO has collected a treasure trove of data about the Moon, enabling numerous groundbreaking discoveries.
Explore the Moon:
It only takes a couple days to send most spacecraft to the Moon, so it's not surprising that humans have sent more missions there than anywhere else. The Moon is also the only celestial body besides Earth where humans have visited.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is an orbiting spacecraft studying the geology and climate of the planet since 2006. It hosts the most powerful high-resolution camera ever sent to Mars.
ESA's ExoMars 2022 mission will deliver a European rover named Rosalind Franklin, and a Russian surface platform named Kazachok, to the surface of Mars. The rover will travel across the Martian surface to search for signs of life.
Japan's Martian Moons eXploration mission will launch in the mid-2020s on a mission to explore the moons of Mars.
Asteroids, Comets & Small Worlds
The European Space Agency's Comet Interceptor's mission will launch in 2028 and wait for a scientifically interesting comet to be discovered. It will then intercept the comet, splitting into 3 spacecraft for multi-point observations.
Explore Asteroids, Comets & Small Worlds:
There are countless worlds to explore in our solar system besides the classical planets. Studying these asteroids, comets, and small worlds reveal important insights about how planets are made and where we Earthlings come from.
Only 4 spacecraft have ever made it out to Saturn. Our most comprehensive look at the planet came from NASA and the European Space Agency's Cassini-Huygens mission, which spent 13 years exploring Saturn and its moons.
NASA's Roman Space Telescope is the next step in our hunt for Earth-sized exoplanets and our understanding of mysterious dark energy. It has no launch date, and needs your help to get it in space.
The Cassini spacecraft has captured its first image of its target planet, Saturn.
Linda Morabito Kelly began working at Jet Propulsion Laboratories while still a student at the University of Southern California. In 1974, she accepted a fulltime position as an engineer in the Satellite Ephemeris Development and Orbit Determination section JPL.
Charles Kohlhase served as Mission Design Manager for Voyager from 1974 to 1989. He brought more than a decade's worth of experience working on the Mariner and Viking missions to the position.
Bruce C. Murray served as the only geologist on the team planning the Grand Tour, which was cancelled by NASA in 1972, but which led to Voyager the same year. He later became the Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a position he held from 1976 to 1982, the early glory years of the mission.