February is a big month for missions to Mars, with an orbiter from the United Arab Emirates scheduled to arrive Tuesday, an orbiter and a rover from China slated to arrive Wednesday and NASA’s Perseverance rover expected to touch down on Feb. 18. China’s rover won’t head for the surface until the spring, which NASA’s rover will attempt a landing right away, using a sky-crane maneuver.
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FILE – In this Monday, July 20, 2020 file photo, men watch the launch of the “Amal” or “Hope” space probe at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The orbiter is scheduled to reach Mars on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, followed less than 24 hours later by China’s orbiter-rover combo. NASA’s rover will arrive on the scene a week later, on Feb. 18, to collect rocks for return to Earth _ a key step in determining whether life ever existed at Mars. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)