And they’re off! A flotilla of spacecraft is heading to Mars in a race that will be reminicent of an Independance Day scene. Mars’ orbit will be swinging it within 34.6 million miles of Earth, closer than at any time in recorded history.
Not to pass up the opportunity, two NASA rovers, a probe from the European Space Agency, another one from Japan, and Britains first step into space are all Mars-bound. NASA’s rovers and the ESA probe are searching for water, the Japanese orbiter will study the upper atmosphere, and the British spacecraft will be looking for Carbon-12 and Carbon-13, indicating life.