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The Space Cowboy is here to let you know about all the cool things that are happening in 2021. There will be rocket launches, plus new trips planned to the Moon and Mars. As well as international launches and celestial happenings, too. If you’re like us (even Kathy), you like knowing about what is heading up to space, where it’s going, and what it’s supposed to do.

If all goes according to plan, there will be three separate missions to Mars this year. One will be from NASA. The second is a Chinese mission arriving in April. And the UAE will be conducting its first mission to Mars arriving in February.

There will also be several missions to the Moon, including a probe launched by a private firm based right here in Pennsylvania called Astrobotic Technology. Fun fact: their Peregrine Mission One will be carrying the DNA of legendary sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke.

If rockets are your thing, several important launches are set to happen this year. Notably, the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Launch System. That is the same system that could potentially bring astronauts back to the moon in 2024. SpaceX is also gearing up for a big 2021, as Elon Musk’s company will send its “Starship” into orbit. That is a vehicle that one day will carry passengers into Earth’s orbit, the moon and even Mars.

Lastly, there will be some great sky-watching this year! On May 26th, prepare for a lunar eclipse that will be visible in all 50 states. Later in the year, there’s gonna be a solar eclipse too. But unfortunately, you’ll have to be in Antarctica to see the total eclipse, or in South Africa for a glimpse of the partial eclipse.

Bonus fact for lovers of the movie Armageddon. The asteroid Apophis is for you! In March, it is set to come within 10.5 million miles of Earth, but the real news is that 8 years from now, in 2029, Apophis will get within 19.000 miles of Earth, which is only 1/10th the distance of Earth to the Moon. Paging Bruce Willis…

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