It is clear that the exploration of Mars has not concluded and that there is still a long way to go to know all the secrets of the red planet. That is why space agencies around the world are already working on their future missions.
NASA has several projects in mind to continue research on Mars. One of them is the InSight program, a mission included in the NASA Discovery Program for 2016. This landing module aims to carry out a study of the deep interior of the planet that will help determine the internal structure of Mars.
Also in 2016 the European Space Agency (SEC), in collaboration with NASA, will start the ExoMars program, composed of the ExoMars Orbiter and ExoMars Rover, designed to investigate whether there was ever life on Mars.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute has also boarded the Mars exploration car with the MetNet atmospheric mission. This mission includes sending several dozen MetNet probes to the red planet. These will have the objective of establishing an observation network of the Martian terrain to investigate the atmospheric, physical and meteorological structure of the planet. The MetNet mission will be carried out with the participation of the Russian Institute for Space Research and the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) of Spain.
For its part, Russia is working on a robotic spacecraft called Mars-Grunt, which will be sent in mid-2020. The spacecraft will be based on the technology developed for the Fobos-Grunt program. With it, it is planned to bring a sample of Martian soil to Earth for investigation and analysis.
Based on the success of Curiosity, NASA has announced a new rover project that will be released in 2020. This mission will continue the line of research on life on Mars. In addition, it represents the perfect opportunity to gather the knowledge and technologies necessary for future human expeditions to the red planet during the remaining years for its launch.
There is still much to discover about the future and past of Mars. For now we can only wait to see that they bring us the new missions that are launched to the red planet in the future.
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