27Dec2015

2015 – The Year In Space

2015

Here’s a list of the top 11, mind-blowing space events of 2015 I could remember.  Check out the list below and then head to their websites to read more and maybe add some more yourself.
1. Water was found on a moon of Jupiter (Ganymede) and on one of Saturn’s moons (Enceladus).

2. NASA mission New Horizons became the first-ever to fly past Pluto, gathering data and the clearest images ever seen of the dwarf planet. Because Pluto has essentially been in “deep freeze for the last 4.5 billion years.

3. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft’s photos of and data on “dirty snowball” Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko helped shed light on cometary behaviour.

4. Discoveries about Supernova 1987A (which exploded in February 1987) concluded that its rings are fading and its high-energy light is plateauing.

5. Another Earth? NASA scientists identified a planet outside our solar system that exists in a “habitable zone,” meaning it is located at a distance from its star that might make it hospitable to life.

6. Data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) confirmed that flowing water is present on Mars today, not just in the past.

7. Hubble’s 25th birthday. The famous telescope has been capturing stunning images and furthering knowledge of space for a quarter of a century.

8. Astronomers reported that they had found light from the youngest galaxy cluster yet discovered—dated to have existed when the universe was just about 3.2 billion years old.

9. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft began orbiting Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt lying between Mars and Jupiter, and the data it has recorded continues to shed light on the question of what caused the asteroid’s mysterious spots.

10. NASA contracts commercial crew missions: Boeing and Space X have been awarded three of four guaranteed contracts to fly commercially supplied crewed missions to the International Space Station.

11. Both Elon Musk’s company Space X and Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin successfully landed booster rockets intact after launching. Until now, rockets have typically been damaged or destroyed after launches.— a single Falcon 9 rocket costs $60 million to build.

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