Space expands

Space travel The space year 2021: extraterrestrial highlights

Actually, SLS and Orion were supposed to bring Americans back to the lunar surface by 2024. NASA can now approach this a little more relaxed. The new Biden administration will have that until 2028.

By then, India should finally have landed on the moon. The Chandrayaan-1 probe had already orbited him successfully; In 2020, the successor mission Chandrayaan-2 should ensure that India becomes the fourth nation that can land on the moon - but it was not. The lander shattered on impact on the lunar surface. India wants to try again in 2021: Chandrayaan-3 is likely to start in March and try again to land safely on the moon.

And Russia also wants to go back to the moon. The head of the Roscosmos space agency, Dmitri Rogozin, announced that he would start plans for Russia's lunar program, for example. To this end, a moon mission - the "Luna 25" space probe - is to start again in autumn 2021 for the first time in 45 years. Russia intends to build a space station on Earth's satellite in stages by 2040.

ISS - we are coming

And these are just a few of the launches that are pending. Europe will also send astronauts into space again in 2021. The French Thomas Pesquet and the German Matthias Maurer are supposed to fly to the ISS. The French should start in the spring in space, the Saarland in autumn. "Cosmic Kiss" is the name of Maurer's mission. According to the European Space Agency Esa, the unusual name is a declaration of love for the cosmos. Maurer will live and work on the International Space Station for six months.

And the ISS will welcome a space tourist again at the end of 2021. Since the American Dennis Tito's first trip in 2001, Russia has brought a total of seven tourists to the ISS, the last one in 2009. The cost of such a trip is estimated at 50 million dollars.

Work on a feature film by the director Klim Schipenko, parts of which will be shot in the cosmos, will also start. The film with the working title "Wysow" (challenge) aims to heroically portray the cosmonaut's profession, as stated by Rogozin and the state TV broadcaster Perwy Kanal. The USA are also planning a shoot in the ISS. Hollywood star Tom Cruise is to take on one of the leading roles.

Mars makes you mobile

But some of the greatest astro highlights of 2021 will already be in February, when all eyes will be on Mars. Then the NASA Rover Perseverance should arrive there, which has a helicopter on board with Ingenuity and technology from Jena.