The five: space missions for 2021

After 2020, anyone would be forgiven for wanting to escape Earth, and Mars, the moon and the asteroid belt beckon

This Nasa telescope, which is to replace the Hubble, has been subject to many delays – its first planned launch was in 2007. A March 2020 takeoff was delayed due to Covid, while its initial $500m budget has spiralled to more than $10bn (£7.4bn). It is a more sensitive telescope than the Hubble and once operational it will be able to observe the formation of some of the first galaxies. It will be launched on a European Ariane 5 rocket on 31 October.

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January 10, 2021