Not one but four space missions will soon travel to Mars – and there’s a good chance that at least one of them might find life on the Red Planet, according to Dr. Jim Green, Chief Scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). For a scientist like Green, that’s an exciting prospect. But his excitement is tempered by a certain foreboding. We’ll explain why in a moment.
The four exploratory Mars missions are being launched by NASA, the European Space Agency, China and the United Arab Emirates. All are due to take off in summer 2020. Green explained why that is to The Daily Telegraph newspaper in September 2019. “It’s like rush hour to Mars, but that’s when the alignment of the planets is just right and we can get there as fast as possible, not chase Mars around the Sun,” Green said.