Cosmologists, astronomers and space engineers are predicting that 2021 will be a great year space exploration. An increasing number countries and commercial companies are investing technology to venture the heavens. Entrepreneurs SpaceX's Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson are setting their sights space tourism and sending astronauts to Mars. What once seemed science fiction is quickly becoming space fact. Such are the advances technology, we might no longer be surprised news of asteroids being mined, Mars being colonised, or new forms of holidays, such as getaway weekend breaks to the Moon.
The year will start an exciting project that will help scientists better understand the universe. NASA will launch its Q-PACE probe January the 15th. This will study the collision small particles space to provide an insight how planets originally formed. A month later, NASA's Perseverance rover will land Mars. This mission will test signs of possible past microbial life. NASA said: "Returning samples of Mars to Earth has been a goal planetary scientists the early days of the space age." In October, the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Telescope, will launch space. Its mission is to observe the first galaxies that formed in the early universe.