To infinity and beyond

Space missions to look forward to this decade

THE SUN

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Solar orbiter launched on February 10, 2020. It will study the Sun's "uncharted polar regions."

Solar orbiter will also study how solar storms affect our planet. Read more.

the moon

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NASA plans to launch humans to our Moon in 2024. The Artemis mission will not only do science on the Moon but also help humanity prepare for a crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s. Read more.

NEAR-EARTH ENVIRONMENT

MARS

Mars already hosts a rover and a lander: NASA's Curiosity and Insight, respectively. Many orbiters, from the US, India, Europe, and Russia are studying the planet as well.

And more are coming.

MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

China's space agency plans to launch a combination lander and rover mission, called Tianwen-1, also in July 2020. Read more.

The United Arab Emirates is also planning to launch a Mars orbiter in July 2020, which will study the Red Planet's atmosphere. Read more.

Japan's space agency is planning to launch a mission to study Mars's moons, Phobos and Diemos, in 2024. Read more.

asteroid belt

In 2022, NASA will launch Psyche: a mission to a metal asteroid, also called Psyche. Scientists think the asteroid Psyche is the ancient core of a planet. Read more.

JUPITER

ESA also has a mission planned to Europa. The agency's JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (or JUICE) is slated to launch in 2022. Read more.

NASA's Lucy mission is slated to launch in October 2021 and will be the first to study the Trojan asteroids — the group of asteroids that lead and follow Jupiter in its orbit around the Sun.

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Lucy will travel to eight different asteroids over its 12 year journey. Read more.

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Saturn

THE UNIVERSE

NASA is planning to launch its highly anticipated James Webb Space Telescope in 2021. The telescope will show us close-up views of black holes, the insides of planet-forming dust clouds, and possibly even habitable exoplanets. Read more.