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The Wind-Down of a "Stellar" Year

>> Friday, December 26, 2008

As the year comes to a close, there are many articles and scientific advances that really made news this year. Something that was not in the news as much as it should have been was NASA. The program itself has the tendency to be a bit controversial, but many do not realize how much benefit there has been from experiments done by NASA. Even more exciting, NASA celebrated it's 50th birthday this year just like my mom! To give our space program some recognition, I am going to give you some of the highlights of this year's events based on news at the NASA website.

  • The International Space Station nears completion on its 10th anniversary. Four shuttle missions went up with modules added increasing the size and capabilities of the station. The space station is now the size of a large five bedroom house.
  • Phoenix landed on mars in May. It sent back more than 25,000 images back to Earth. This amazing piece of machinery also determined soil alkalinity, weather patterns, tested for water evidence, and more.
  • Using satellites, scientists at NASA continued their study of the disappearance of sea ice. The levels hit record lows this year despite people heralding a colder year in temperatures. There is lots of science on how this goes hand in hand, but that is better saved for a paper. :D
  • NASA helped design swimsuits worn at the Olympic Games. NASA researchers tested a variety of fabrics in a low-speed wind tunnel.
Well, these were my favorite highlights of the year from NASA. You can find more here. Don't forget to vote for your favorite story while you're there. Just for those of you who were paying attention, what was your favorite "newsworthy" science moment of the year? You can pick anything, even from Potspoon! if you'd like. I would really like to know!

Photo is in the Public Domain and was found here.


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