Astronomers are predicting that 2021 will be great for space exploration. More countries and companies are investing in technology to venture into the heavens. Entrepreneurs like SpaceX's Elon Musk are setting their sights on space tourism and on sending astronauts to Mars. What once seemed like science fiction is now becoming space fact. There are many advances in technology that no longer surprise us. These include things like asteroids being mined, Mars being colonised, or holidays and weekend breaks to the Moon.
This year will start with a project to help scientists better understand the universe. NASA will launch a probe to study the collision of small particles in space. This will help us understand how planets formed. A month later, a NASA rover will land on Mars. This will test for signs of past microbial life. NASA said: "Returning samples of Mars to Earth has been a goal of planetary scientists since the early days of the space age." In October, the James Webb Space Telescope will launch into space. Its mission is to observe the first galaxies that formed in the early universe.