Space missions are launched by multiple space agencies aside from NASA. For instance, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and European Space Agency are collaborating to launch the BepiColombo, which will examine the characteristics of the least explored planet, Mercury, which happens to be closest to the sun.
Two orbiters are expected to be put into motion to reveal the mysteries of the planet, its characteristics, atmosphere and composition. Scientists will also examine the critical and urgent questions revolving around Mercury’s existence with such close proximity to the sun. In the past, scientists have conducted fly-bys that have captured several images of Mercury, however, there is need for further information on the core, weather and atmospheric conditions and chemical composition of the planet amongst other mysteries.
8. Chandrayaan 2
The Apollo missions have revealed a great deal about the moon, and now, space missions to the moon seem less mysterious and riveting given the discoveries of mind boggling new planets that may or may not harbor the existence of extraterrestrial beings. However, India is still engrossed in the space race and eager to catch up with the super powers by launching its very first space mission to the moon. This mission was scheduled for lunch in the end of 2018, but now, the country has delayed it until 2022. The mission will feature an orbiter, lander and rover, which aims to gather information on the topography of the moon, elemental characteristics, lunar mineralogy, lunar exosphere and the features of water-ice and hydroxyl.
Experts believe that the US must also take initiatives to launch more space missions to the moon, and it will be unfortunate if we cannot send in an inquiry until the 2020s. The lunar lander is a great challenge, and if the experts consider contracting a private firm for the lander construction, this challenge can also be resolved.
It is interesting to note that humans are not a necessary requirement for a successful space mission because robots are capable of performing much more efficiently in outer space environments. However, many organizations continue to send humans to space missions to the moon. For instance, five teams are competing to win the $30 million Lunar X prize by Google, which allows affordable transport to the moon.