BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The space community is buzzing about the busy 2021 schedule. After a record 35 U.S.–based launches in 2020, 30 of which blasted off from Florida's Space Coast, at least that many are expected in 2021.
What You Need To Know
- U.S.-based launches could top record again in 2021
- Rover mission expected to land on Mars in February
- Uncrewed Orbital Flight Test to lift off
- Webb telescope to be sent into space to find new galaxies
Florida Tech aerospace pofessor Saida Caballero-Nieves and astronomy grad Maria Galvez Gonzalez are eager, enthusiastic, and excited about space ventures in 2021.
"It's great that we have this sort of renaissance of spaceflight coming from the U.S.," Caballero-Nieves said.
"I think this should be something everyone should partake in and push for," Gonzalez said.
NASA's Perseverance rover mission lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in July 2020. After a five-month trip, it is expected to land on Mars in February.
March could bring Boeing's uncrewed Orbital Flight Test 2, as a Starliner capsule will blast off from the Space Coast. Also planned for the month, Space X's Crew-2 mission, sending two NASA astronauts, plus one Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut to the orbiting outpost.
In June, three NASA astronauts will head up on the Starliner on its way to the International Space Station.
Then in late October, NASA is launching the long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope, which is expected to find previously unseen galaxies.
"There's a lot of new things coming up, especially James Webb which we've been waiting for more than a decade now, so that's going to be super exciting," Caballero-Nieves said.
"It means our generation could have the astronaut profession more in reach, more doable than before," said Gonzalez, who is pursuing a Ph.D in astronomy.