As the 2020s begin, high schoolers have a lot to look forward to. This decade will contain high school graduations, college graduations and the beginnings of our careers. The start of this new decade promises opportunity and excitement, all of which begins in 2020. This year alone, a July launch is planned for the Mars 2020 program, the Summer Olympics will take place in Tokyo from July 24 to Aug. 9 and a presidential election will occur in November. 2020 will be an exciting year for many Americans, with events that spark interest for science lovers, sports fans and political aficionados as well.
Mars 2020 is a mission by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program that has a planned rover launch on July 17. One main thing being studied during this mission is the habitability of Mars in the past. The currently unnamed rover will carry many new scientific instruments, including a robotic helicopter drone called the Mars Helicopter Scout. Additionally, the mission will test new technology that could be used in future exploration of the planet.
The Tokyo Olympics will introduce many new events and competitions including karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding. Baseball and softball will also return this year after being removed following the 2008 games. There will be a total of 339 events in 33 different sports. 139 National Olympic Committees are currently qualified, however, one country that will not be participating this summer is Russia. Due to the World Anti-Doping Association banning Russia from all international sporting events for four years in 2019, qualifying Russian athletes will be forced to compete under a neutral banner. In 2018, athletes could use the title “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” but the WADA Compliance Review Committee stated this would no longer be allowed.
For fans of politics, the presidential election will take place on Nov. 3. The primary elections and caucuses will take place from February to June, with the Democratic National Convention occurring in July and the Republican National Convention taking place in August. It is extremely likely Donald Trump, the incumbent, will be the Republican nominee in November, but it is still unknown who will be on the final ticket for the Democratic Party. As of Jan. 2, there are currently 14 active candidates, although not all 14 are well-known. 15 major candidates have already dropped out of the race and it can be assumed that many more will do so as the primary season advances.
Even if your main interest is not related to science, sports or politics, 2020 will still be an incredibly interesting and exciting year. Whether you decide to follow the new Mars rover, tune into surfing in Tokyo or watch the presidential debates, 2020 has something fascinating in store for you!