Missions to the moon and Mars

The Chinese space agency launched a spacecraft called Chang’e 3 on December 1. The spacecraft is headed to Earth’s moon with a rover which will roam around and study the moon. There are no humans on the spacecraft. Chang’e 3 is expected to make a landing on December 14. There are only two other countries that have landed spacecrafts on the moon, the United States and the Soviet Union. The last time a spacecraft landed (without crashing) on the moon was Soviet Union’s spacecraft in 1976.

Talking about space, Mars One, a private not-for-profit company based in the Netherlands, recently announced more details about its plan to send people to Mars. The company will send a spacecraft (without people) which is expected to land on Mars in 2018. This spacecraft will test things out. The first people will reach Mars in 2025, followed by 4 people arriving at the planet every two years. When are they going to come back? Well, they aren’t. The mission is to start a human settlement on Mars, and it’s a one-way trip. Over 200,000 people have signed up to be part of this mission, but of course, not everybody will get to escape Earth. Here is a video about Mars One.

 

Did you know?

If another life form was passing by Earth, what would they see? Here is a video captured by the American space agency’s Juno spacecraft which flew past Earth in October this year.

Image Credits: Credit: Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering for Chang’e 3’s image, http://www.mars-one.com/en/ for Mars One’s settlement image
Sources: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/, http://www.esa.int, http://www.mars-one.com/en/