With an uncertain future ahead, NASA has managed some astonishing accomplishments that will define it for as long as it exists.
The year that was 2016 is coming to a close today, and NASA can look back on it with pride. Although their future remains uncertain with Donald Trump taking the reins of the U.S. government and their funding, this past year was one filled with some of the most incredible accomplishments mankind has ever achieved.
There was the Juno space probe, which arrived at Jupiter back on July 4 after a five-year journey. Meanwhile, the Cassini spacecraft orbited another gas giant, Saturn. New Horizons continued to send back data from its Pluto visit, and the Mars Curiosity rover sent back an incredible amount of data from the Red Planet back to Earth.
Much work remains ahead for NASA. New Horizons is speeding out into the Kuiper Belt to search out an interesting object out there. The rovers will continue to do their work on Mars, and scientists are working hard toward a future manned mission. And we are sure to get lots of fascinating data from Juno as it takes a close look at Jupiter.
“This past year marked record-breaking progress in our exploration objectives,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement. “We advanced the capabilities we’ll need to travel farther into the solar system while increasing observations of our home and the universe, learning more about how to continuously live and work in space, and, of course, inspiring the next generation of leaders to take up our Journey to Mars and make their own discoveries.”