"Some 250 miles overhead, astronauts are conducting critical research not possible on Earth, which makes tremendous advances in our lives while helping to expand human presence beyond low Earth orbit," said William Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.
An international Earth-observing mission launched in 2011 to study the salinity of the ocean surface ended June 8 when an essential part of the power and attitude control system for the SAC-D spacecraft, stopped operating.
In a leap for robotic development, the MIT researchers who built a robotic cheetah have now trained it to see and jump over hurdles as it runs — making this the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obstacles autonomously.
Last year was a notable one for scientific achievements: In 2014, European researchers discovered a fundamental new particle that sheds light on the origins of the universe, and the European Space Agency successfully landed the first spacecraft on a comet. Chinese researchers, meanwhile, developed the world’s fastest supercomputer, and uncovered new ways to meet global food demand.