The top 5 science space feats of 2020
SpaceX has successfully sent 4 NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (NASA)

Covid-19 was the center of interest in scientific research and the science public during the year 2020, and with the measures of social distancing, many scientific tasks in other areas suffered from delays, whether due to closure or lack of funding; however, this year in spite of all that was special for astronomy and space sciences.

A new space era

For example, one of the most famous events of this year was the ability of “SpaceX“, on May 31 last, to send NASA astronauts “Doug Harley” and “Bob Pinken” to the International Space Station in complete safety, and thus SpaceX became the first private company in history to take astronauts into space.

That was a test flight; But in mid-November the following, the company managed to make its first official flight to the station with 4 astronauts, and by 2024 the company may be able to meet the needs of NASA and its missions to the moon and then to Mars.

For example, one of the most famous events of this year was the ability of “SpaceX”, on May 31 last, to send NASA astronauts “Doug Harley” and “Bob Pinken” to the International Space Station in complete safety, and thus SpaceX became the first private company in history to take astronauts into space.

That was a test flight; But in mid-November the following, the company managed to make its first official flight to the station with 4 astronauts, and by 2024 the company may be able to meet the needs of NASA and its missions to the moon and then to Mars.

Life on Venus

The top 5 science space feats of 2020
Chemical signs indicating the possibility of life on Venus (European Southern Observatory)

And last September, a joint international research team announced that it was able – for the first time – to find chemical signs indicating the possibility of life on Venus, after it was only predictions over decades ago.

Phosphine gas, which has been observed in large quantities in the planet’s atmosphere, is forming on Earth; Because of the existence of living organisms, whether due to human activity or also some types of bacteria, and scientists do not know any chemical method to produce it on Venus; This led them to assume that there are accurate pictures of life on its surface.

Gaia in the Milky Way

The top 5 science space feats of 2020
The Jaya Telescope provides the most accurate data and maps related to the Milky Way during 2020 (NASA)

One of the most important discoveries in 2020 relates to the achievements of the European Space Agency’s “Gaia” space telescope, the most important of which was in June the construction of a historical sequence, which is the most accurate to date in cosmology, of our Milky Way galaxy over the past 13 billion years. Which will contribute to achieving a better understanding of the future of our galaxy, and the nature of galaxies in general.

As for this December, the telescope released a new package of data, sufficient to adopt the most accurate map possible of the Milky Way now, as this version carries information on 1.8 billion stars, with exceptional accuracy in determining the positions of those stars similar to the process of determining the position of a hair At a distance of a thousand kilometers.

Abyssal samples

The top 5 science space feats of 2020
The Japanese mission “Hibusa-2” collects soil and rock samples from the asteroid “Ryugu” (NASA)

On the other hand, the Japanese space agency announced the success of its “Hayabusa-2” mission in sending isolated and well-preserved samples of the soil and rocks of the asteroid “Ryugu” to Earth, which is one of the most important achievements of 2020.

“Ryugu” is located at a distance of about 300 million kilometers from the earth, and it is believed that it is about 4.5 billion years old. This means that its material may hold some secrets of the formation of the solar system in its first moments, and scientists may be able through these samples to understand the origins of life in the solar system This mode of spaceflight won’t stop.

The “Osiris Rex” of NASA’s space and aviation agency (Nasa) was able for the first time, last October, to touch the asteroid “Bennu”, and take its first batch of samples. Like Hyposa-2, Oasis-Rex will carry its samples back to Earth within several years.

Nobel Astronomy and Space

However, there is no doubt that the most important scientific achievement of 2020 in the field of astronomy and space was that it won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the second time in a row, as Roger Penrose from the University of Oxford won half the award for his theoretical achievements in Understanding black holes.

As for Renard Genzel from the German Max Planck Institute and the University of California, American, and Andrea Gies from the University of California, USA, they received the other half of the award for their experimental achievements in the field. Himself.

 

Source: websites

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