NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is set to launch on July 30th and is due to land on the red planet early 2021 in Jezero Crater (fans of my Colony Mars series will recognize that name).

Like its older brother, Curiosity, it will utilize that crazy sky-crane landing technique perfected by NASA. This should be an exciting mission, not least is the fact that it has its own little helicopter drone, which should be amazing to watch in action. <More here>


The UAE’s HOPE orbiter mission is already on its way, having successfully lifted off atop the Japanese H-2A rocket on July 19th. <More here>


And China has just rolled out a Long March 5 rocket at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, getting it ready to loft the Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter sometime around July 23rd. <More here>


There was also a fourth Mars mission scheduled. The European Space Agency  / Roscosmos joint ExoMars mission, which has a Russian lander with a European rover. But this has been pushed back until the next window sometime in 2022. <More on that here>

By that time, 2022, could we see a launch of a  SpaceX Starship?