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2021 preview: Three missions will make February 2021 the month of Mars

NASA’s Perseverance rover fires its engines as it nears the Martian surface in this illustration

NASA/JPL-CALTECH

FOR Mars fans, February will be an exciting month. The Red Planet is getting three visitors from Earth, which all took off in July 2020. The Hope orbiter, the first Mars mission from the United Arab Emirates, was first to launch, followed by China’s Tianwen-1 mission, which includes an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The last to take off was NASA’s Perseverance rover.

Hope will be the first to arrive at Mars, skimming into orbit around 9 February. It will check its …

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