The year 2020 AD did not turn out exactly as we would have liked down on Earth. But in space, it did prove to be momentous.
SpaceX and NASA delivered astronauts to the International Space Station (twice!) aboard the Crew Dragon capsule, Japan and China brought back extraterrestrial rock to Earth and NASA scooped up some space chunks from asteroid Bennu. Excitement for Mars peaked in July, when three missions departed for the red planet. The Mars-bound spacecraft, from NASA, China and the United Arab Emirates, are en route now. They’re set to arrive early in 2021.
Last year, to keep all of you in the know, CNET launched the SPACE CALENDAR (all caps for dramatic cosmic effect), covering all the big rocket launches, mesmerizing meteor showers, epic eclipses and even an assortment of scientific milestones. In 2021, we’re back at it again. You can find all the key dates for space missions below, with meteor showers and events without a date toward the end of the piece.
Our always-updating Google calendar can be synced with your own calendar so you never miss a thing. That big button below? That’s how you add it.
You can also use another calendar with this link, which will allow you to download our calendar file and add it to a provider of your choice, like Outlook.
There are many more rocket launches each year than those listed below, but they’re so often subject to change that we’ve decided to leave them off this big list. The best advice is to always keep an eye on CNET’s Science page and sign up for our space and science newsletter if you want to ensure you’re getting launch updates from the likes of SpaceX, Rocket Lab and Blue Origin. We’ll also endeavor to shift things around on the Google calendar as soon as we have information, so keep your eyes peeled.