Aviation Week’s Sept. 8 edition looks ahead to the latest milestone in space exploration – the arrival of two scientific missions to Mars. India’s Mars Orbiter Mission is scheduled to enter Martian orbit on Sept. 21. On top of that their arrival will be followed shortly by the passing of a rare Oort Cloud comet. The missions could yield new information about what happened to the presence of water on Mars as well as an up-close look at Siding Spring, the comet. But the ever-present danger of spacecraft failure will be compounded by the presence of debris created by the high-speed comet .
Note: This post was updated to reflect new information.