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What Will Humanity Achieve in 2021 in Space?

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This video is about the top 10 space missions you must look for in 2021.

Basics of Astrophysics:

1. James Webb Space Telescope

The much-awaited James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch on October 31. The $10 billion telescope is the successor of the Hubble Space Telescope. As compared to Hubble, Webb is a beast. Its primary collecting mirror is 5 times that of Hubble's. While Hubble primarily worked in the optical and the UV region of the electromagnetic spectrum, Webb will operate in the infrared region. This means Webb will see the most distant regions of the universe that even Hubble couldn't.

2. Mars Exploration

Three countries will arrive at Mars in 2021. The first is the USA with the Perseverance rover that will search for microbial life on Mars. The $2.5 billion mission will reach Mars on Feb 18. The highlight of the mission is the Mars Helicopter Ingenuity. If successful, the United States will become the first nation to fly a drone on any planet other than Earth.

The second country to reach Mars will be China with its Tianwen-1 mission that carries an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. Its success would make China the second country to land on the Red Planet.

Finally, we have the UAE with the Emirates Mars Mission that carries an orbiter called Hope. The Arab orbiter will study weather patterns on Mars. Its success would make the UAE the first nation to reach Mars.

3. Chandrayaan 3: After a partially successful lunar mission in 2019, India will go back to the Moon in December 2021. Chandrayaan 3 will comprise a rover that will attempt to make a soft landing on the south pole of the Moon.

4. DART: NASA's DART mission stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test. It's the first planetary defense mission of humankind. The 500 kg spacecraft will travel to a double asteroid system and crash on one of the orbiting asteroids. After the impact, the asteroid will enter a new orbit, and the time taken by it to go around its companion will change. This can be observed by telescopes from the Earth.

5. LUCY: NASA's Lucy Mission is the first space mission to the trojan asteroids. Jupiter trojans are two groups of asteroids that share the planet's orbit. LUCY will travel to 6 asteroids in 12 years. These asteroids hold the secrets of the early solar system.

6. ARTEMIS: NASA plans to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. To achieve the feat, NASA will launch Artemis - 1 in 2021. It will be an uncrewed mission that will certify Orion and SLS for the next Artemis missions.

7. Starship: It will be interesting to see how SpaceX's starship plays out in 2021. The rocket-launching company had a great previous year. While the prototype of starship SN8 exploded on landing, it was declared a success as the team got all the required data to proceed with. Starship SN 9 and SN 10 are up for launch in 2021.

8. Luna 25: Russia plans to go back to the Moon after 45 years with its Luna 25. It will attempt to land in the Bogyslvysky crater at the south pole.

9. Chinese large modular space station: China will launch the core module Tianhe in 2021. The country wants to complete its space station by 2022. It will be 20% of the size of the International Space Station.

10. Mission Extensions: Last but not least, two space missions have been extended by NASA to explore the solar system. The first is the Juno space mission that has got the ticket to go around Jupiter and its moons for another 5.5 years. The second is NASA's InSight mission, which has been tracking the martian seismic activity. The InSight mission has been extended till Dec 2022.

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