The secrets of the red planet Mars, including life current or fossilised, may be revealed if all goes to plan after the launch of the US space agency’s Perseverance robot. When it lands in February of 2021 it will gather rock and soil samples to be sent home later this decade. In addition to geological investigations and the search for life, there’s an emphasis on future human exploration, seeing whether it’s possible to make oxygen from the carbon dioxide-dominated atmosphere. Two other Mars bound missions were launched a few days ago by the UAE and China.
The launch took place on 30 July 2020 at 7.50am EDT Cape Canaveral, Florida, which certainly highlighted Mars. There’s a wide-ish entrepreneurial and inspired Fire Grand Trine of a Leo Sun trine Sagittarius Moon trine an 8th house Mars; with a focal point Mars onto Mercury opposition Jupiter Pluto; and a focal point Neptune onto Venus opposition Moon. Mars is also conjunct BML
Some of the technology is similar to the earlier Mars Exploration Rover Curiosity, launched 26 November 2011 3.02 pm UT Cape Canaveral, Florida. It also took off into space with an emphasised Mars in the 8th which was square the Sagittarius Sun and in an Earth Grand Trine to Jupiter in Taurus trine Pluto Venus in Capricorn.
Another Mars-fuelled space probe was the interplanetary New Horizons though its mission was to navigate to Pluto and beyond – its moons, and Kuiper Belt objects. It launched on 19 January 2006 7pm EST Cape Canaveral, Florida, did a fly-by of Jupiter and became the first spacecraft to explore Pluto nine and a half years later in 2015. Then it moved even further on to the edges of the Solar system and could still be in operation in 2030. It had Mars in Taurus on the Midheaven opposition Jupiter square Saturn opposition Neptune.
The much earlier Voyager 1, was launched 5 September 1977 12.56 pm UT Cape Canaveral, to study the outer solar system. It is expected to continue functioning until 2025. It has Mars Jupiter conjunct the Midheaven trine Uranus and widely square Pluto – with a Moon opposition Neptune square Sun.
Astonishing technology. More’s the pity medicine on earth hasn’t moved as fast as space science.