The coming year looks like it will be an exciting one, with emerging countries’ space agencies as well as private entrepreneurs jumping in. NASA will continue to wrestle with its purpose, but it will also provide some spectacular new missions. And we can always expect some unexpected discoveries and announcements.
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Here, we take a look at the new year in space and the missions and events we have to look forward to.
At some point this year, NASA’s incredibly cute and popular Curiosity rover could reach the base of Mount Sharp. This 3-mile-high hill at the center of Gale Crater is the probe’s ultimate goal and the science team is eager to get there. Along the way, it will stop to drill and sample the soil, likely discovering some amazing new things about Mars. But climbing Mount Sharp will allow astronomers to see different layers of rock, which should reveal how and why Mars went from a wet world in the past to the dry one seen today.
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