Each year, science advances at an astonishing rate and what was once the realm of science fiction becomes science fact. For most of us, these discoveries and innovations flutter by as little more than curiosities, fascinating headlines in the news, but each of these has significant implications that have the potential to reshape our world over the next decade or so.
Here’s a list of some of the top scientific discoveries and innovations for 2012.
15. Voyager leaves the solar system
In 1977, the original Star Wars was produced using miniature models for special effects. Star Wars contains a few embarrassingly archaic shots of computer graphics from that era; chunky yellow/green lines plastered on a black screen highlight just how far computing has come in the last 35 years.
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It’s an awesome concept – a probe sent from Earth into the Milky Way with messages of peace for any alien life that may be encountered outside our solar system.
We sent them love songs and concertos and messages of peace as a demonstration of humanity. We sent them a demonstration of humanity at its highest – our moments of brilliance, of unity and of selflessness.
Last week, the Voyager celebrated its 35th anniversary of its launch to explore Saturn and Jupiter. Now, it is at the cusp of our solar system, on the brink of exiting the celestial realm that we are familiar with and launching into interstellar territory.
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Just beyond the south western extremities of urban Canberra is the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex at Tidbinbilla. Surrounded by hills – part of the scientific attraction of the relatively radio quiet site –is the most startling technology tucked away in a typical rural Australian setting. Kangaroos, sheep and cattle share the land with high powered radio telescopes and gum trees.
As you approach Tidbinbilla and the giant dishes first appear around a corner the contrast of modern technology upon a backdrop of countryside provides a moment that takes your breath away.
On 26 February this year Australia celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its relationship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – NASA. Back on 26 February 1960 Prime Minister Menzies and US Ambassador Sebald signed the Agreement Between the Government of Australia and the Government of the USA relating to Space Vehicle Tracking and Communications.
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