It put a damper on the revelry for the United Arab Emirates: this morning, the launch of the first (Arab) Mars mission was postponed by two days due to the bad weather conditions. The United States and China also want to launch rocket rovers towards Mars in the next two weeks. If they miss the (short) launch window, they will have to wait two years for the next opportunity.
Russia and Europe were the first to drop in the race to Mars. Due to the corona pandemic, the plans of Roskosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) were delayed and forced to withdraw. They will try again in two years.
The American space agency NASA, China, as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will have another chance in the next two weeks. NASA has already had to postpone the launch of its Mars Rover Perseverance several times, postponing the launch date to 30th July. And now that the launch of the UAE is also delayed, it promises to get pretty busy in the next two weeks.
China’s launch date is unknown for the time being, but one thing is certain: they better hurry because the launch window is short and will only run until August 15. This is due to the orbit and orbital period of Mars in relation to that of the Earth. The periods in which Mars can be reached with as little energy as possible come at intervals of 2.135 years.