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Mars Missions 2021

February 22, 2021

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The U.S., China and UAE Mars Missions - 2021

United States' Mars Mission

- Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program and was launched on July 30, 2020.

- It landed on Mars surface on February 18, 2021 and is designed to spend one Martian year (two Earth years).

- Perseverance Rover Mission’s objective is to seek signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past as well as search for signs of past microbial life and characterize the planet’s geology and past climate.

- The mission provides opportunities to accumulate knowledge and address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.

- Perseverance Mission would also test methods for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, as well as identify resources including subsurface water.

China’s Mars Mission

- China’s first independent Mars mission, Tianwen 1, reached the orbit around the Red Planet on February 10, 2021.

- Tianwen 1 has flown for 197 days and more than 465 million kilometers on its journey to the planet. It will attempt to land a rover on Mars surface in May, 2021.

- China’s Tianwen 1 Mars probe is country’s heaviest space prove weighing 5 tons. It is also the fastest rocket is China’s history with an escape velocity of 11.2 kms per second.

- The probe consists of an orbiter, a lander and a six-wheeled rover carrying scientific instruments.

- Tianwen 1 Mission’s objective is to analyze soil and atmosphere, capture images, chart maps, study composition of soil and rocks and look for water and past signs of life.

Emirates' Mars Mission

- The United Arab Emirates’ first-ever interplanetary mission has successfully entered orbit around Mars on February 09, 2021 after a seven-month journey.

- The Emirates Mars Mission cost around $200 million and was launched from Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan.

- The Hope orbiter is scheduled to last for a full Martian year (687 Earth days).

- The probe’s objective is to study Mars atmosphere, the loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases into space, and to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere.

Aman-21 Joint Naval Exercise

February 17, 2021

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The Aman-21 (Peace-21) was the largest multinational maritime exercise in the North Arabian Sea. It was held under the banner of ‘Together for Peace’ from February 11-16, 2021.

- The main objective of naval drills was to attain regional peace, counter maritime challenges and enhance interoperability between regional and extra regional navies.

- The most significant aspect of the naval drills was that it gathered the United States, Russia, China as well as NATO members under the platform for collaborative maritime security.

The Aman-21 exercise formation included:
British Royal Navy Type 23 guided-missile frigate HMS Montrose F-236,
Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones,
Russia's Admiral Grigorovich frigate,
People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 052D guided missile destroyer Guiyang,
Pakistan Navy F-22P Zulfiquar-class frigate,
Japanese destroyer JS Suzunami among others.

The drills highlight Pakistan’s geostrategic significance especially after the development of country’s Gwadar Port, which is described as a hub that connects three regions South Asia, Middle East and Central Asia.