The spacecraft, which are being sent by the US, China and the UAE, will land on or orbit the Red planet next year. Starting this week, humanity is sending a wave of unmanned spacecraft to Mars to see if it was ever habitable and find out if it could be again.

The three spacecraft, which are being sent by the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates, will land on or orbit the red planet next year after at least a six-month journey.

The timing of the launches has been dictated by Mars and Earth’s orbits, with a single one-month window opening in July during which the planets are close enough together on the same side of the sun to permit the six-month journey.

If the launches fail or are postponed, this window won’t open again for another 26 months.

NASA is sending its six-wheeled Perseverance rover, which is about the size of a car, to drill into the planet and collect rock samples.

The robotic vehicle will explore Mars and test a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, which could potentially be used by astronauts living and working on the planet in the future.

Each of the spacecraft being launched this month will need to travel more than 300 million miles (483 million kilometres) before reaching Mars next February.

Originally Publish at: https://news.sky.com/