The main achievements in space exploration and astronomy for 2016

The main achievements in space exploration and astronomy for 2016
February 13 11:31 2018

Gravitational waves

The past year has in many respects been successful for those who are engaged in the study of astrophysics and the exploration of outer space. Here are just some achievements.

1. Gravitational waves

The message that the spatio-temporal oscillations that arose as a result of the collision of two black holes were recorded made a real furore in the scientific community. The discovery was made possible, thanks to the interferometer installed in the Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), which opens up entirely new possibilities for studying the universe.

This discovery finally proved Albert Einstein’s prediction about the existence of gravitational waves. In fact, we “saw” invisible entities, because gravitational waves are the echo of a giant explosion that occurred as a result of the collision of two black holes 1,3 billion years ago.

2. Space X missile landing

For the company Space X and its creator Elona Mask, the year 2016 started very well: the launch vehicle after landing a small satellite into orbit could land on a specially equipped site on a barge in the ocean. The Space X rocket is the further development of the concept of reusable space vehicles, making the space exploration more affordable.

SpaceX rocket

Unfortunately, there were failures. The explosion at the launch pad Falcon 9 made it clear to its creators that one should not expect a quick and easy success. However, it is worth paying tribute to Elon Mask, who, working on the bugs, is already making plans to develop Mars.

3. In the nearest star system there can be a planet similar to the Earth


A team of astronomers from the University of Queen Mary (London) discovered near the nearest star Proxima Centauri (distance to the Earth slightly more than 4 light years) a planet similar to Earth. The star itself is about 10 times smaller than the Sun, and the exoplanet is in the so-called “habitable zone”.

4. First starship project

Starshot Project

The initiative to create the first starships capable of reaching Proxima Centauri belongs to the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, whom Stephen Hawking himself approved. The project was called Starshot. In accordance with it, a whole fleet of spacecraft of nanoscale will be developed, driven by light rays. Such spacecraft will be able to reach incredible speeds of up to 1,000,000 km / h. The flight to the destination in this case will last “only” about 20 years.

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