Despite the fact that according to astronomical standards, the planet Mars is already 4.6 billion years old, its official chronicle in human representation is only 36 years old. The origin of the Martian calendar began in 1955, one year on this planet lasts 668.6 sols or 687 earth days, so the New Year on Mars is celebrated approximately once every two earth years. And it so happened that now, in honor of this event, three delegations from Earth visited the Red Planet at once.
The first to “congratulate” Mars on the onset of 36 years will be the Al-Amal (Hope) probe from the UAE, which will arrive there on February 9. The mission of the probe is a long-term study of the planet’s atmosphere to assess the prospects for future colonization. The second will be the Chinese Tianwen-1, which will arrive on February 10. He will stay in orbit until May, after which he will launch a rover to the surface, which will go to study the lowlands of Utopia.
Finally, the third on February 18 will be the NASA envoy for the Mars 2020 mission with the Perseverance rover on board. Its target is Jezero Crater, which has an unusually high amount of clay, indicating the presence of water here in the past. The fact that three guests from Earth at once flew in almost simultaneously is no coincidence. Traditionally, missions to Mars are launched during the flight “window”, which opens every 2 years and 2 months, and allows you to reach the planet by the shortest paths.