The spacecraft were launched last year, at a time when Mars and Earth were aligned in their circumsolar orbits, which happens only once every two years.
The Hope spacecraft launched by the UAE is expected to reach Mars orbit on 9 February. It will explore the atmosphere of Mars for two years.
Chinese spacecraft Tianven-1 will reach Mars orbit on February 10, but already on February 5, the Chinese Space Agency released the first image of the Red Planet taken from the spacecraft. The agency said the picture was taken from a distance of more than two million kilometers. After a certain period in orbit, part of the Chinese spacecraft will land on Mars.
On February 18, the US space agency NASA will land on the planet. The robot will collect soil samples for analysis to identify possible evidence of alien life. It will operate on nuclear fuel, which should ensure its operation for 14 years - well beyond the planned mission time of two years. The rover will pack the soil samples and leave them on the surface. In 2026, NASA plans to launch another spacecraft that will take samples and bring them into orbit. From orbit, the samples will be taken by a spacecraft and delivered to Earth.
Two months after arriving on Mars, the rover will launch a small helicopter, which is scheduled to make its first flight on another planet.