There are some very exciting things to look forward to in 2014. For instance, Mars will be having some company in September from our very own MAVEN spacecraft, as well as India’s MOM spacecraft, which will both be orbiting Mars and get started on some valuable scientific research. Other exciting news to look forward to involves the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, which will be used to travel to asteroids, the Moon, and Mars. Later this year, NASA will put Orion through its first test flight and the next time you’ll see Orion in any action may not be until 2017!
If you haven’t already heard, the European Space Agency’s GAIA will be taking a survey of the night sky and create one the most detailed 3D maps to date with over 1 billion stars! One of the best events to look forward to has to do with the wonderful Rosetta spacecraft. Rosetta set out its mission to study the comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko in 2004. On January 20th, it’ll wake up from its hibernation and in November of this year it will actually land on the comet itself! It’ll be quite a spectacular event and quite an accomplishment for humans to land a spacecraft on a comet.