7 highlights from 2021 (and what we’re looking forward to in 2022)
It’s been another unpredictable year, but despite the challenges, there are also many highlights to be grateful for. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up some of the things that brought us joy and inspiration in 2021, from global milestones to those a little closer to home. And in the name of forward thinking, we’ve also listed our top three innovations for 2022 in the realms of science and space. The future certainly looks bright.
- NASA hunts for water on the moon: NASA is sending a VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) to the surface of the moon in December 2022. Designed like a golf cart, its total operation time is around 100 earth days. The goal? To extract water from the lunar south pole to aid human space missions, turning it into rocket fuel and oxygen for breathing.
- Germany takes out nuclear energy: After the Fukishima disaster in Japan, Germany (amongst other countries) pledged to abandon nuclear energy by 2036 to avoid the risk of large areas of the country eventually becoming uninhabitable (as nuclear energy produces toxic waste). 14 years ahead of schedule, the remaining plants will be shut down in 2022—edging one step closer to a more responsible economy.
- China's first space station will be complete: What began with three 'Tiangong' modules as part of a space laboratory phase in 2011, will become a fully-fledged station next year that’s ready to support three astronauts for long-term stays. The aim is to offer a playground for scientists to experiment across numerous fields, including dark matter and cosmic rays, ultraviolet emissions and the growth of cancer. Watch this space. (Source)