Because it takes less power to travel to Mars at this time, compared to other times when Earth and Mars are in different positions in their orbits.
Enrich Your Learning:
NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission:
- Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet.
- It addresses high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key questions about the potential for life on Mars.
- Perseverance takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself.
- It provides opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars. These include:
- Testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere,
- Identifying other resources (such as subsurface water),
- Improving landing techniques, and
- Characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions
- It is scheduled to launch on 30 July 2020, when Earth and Mars are in good positions relative to each other for landing on Mars.
Past NASA’s mission on mars:
- 1992: Mars Observer
- 1996: Mars Global Surveyor
- 1997: Mars Pathfinder Mission with the Sojourner rover egressed on the Martian soil.
- 1998: Mars Climate Orbiter
- 1999: Mars Polar Lander/Deep Space 2
- 2003: NASA would go on to send the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity to Mars.
- 2007: Phoenix
- 2012: Curiosity.