The Best Science Of The Year

2010 was a great year for Science. NASA’s space plane (and the Dolly lineage) were resurrected while a secret laboratory Neturino observatory was built under the South Pole. Check out our best science stories of the year!

1. The Real Story Behind NASA’s Resurrected Space Plane

Why did NASA quietly move two long-grounded X-34 space planes for inspection? Did they want to see if they could fly? Were they eyeing a return to space via reusable, airplane-style vehicles? Here’s what they were doing and why.

2. This $US271 Million Telescope Is Buried Under the South Pole

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, built over a decade at a cost of $US271 million, is buried under the South Pole… and longer than the world’s tallest skyscrapers combined.

3. NASA Engineers Propose Combining a Rail Gun and a Scramjet to Fire Spacecraft Into Orbit

NASA has been working on creating a new, cheaper method to launch spacecrafts. Their latest proposal involves train tracks, a rail gun and a scramjet. Here’s what they’re trying to do.

4. A Guide to Bad Space Science In Movies

Sorry to ruin your enjoyment of Mission to Mars-or, fine, Aliens and Star Wars-but it joins a host of sci-fi movies that just can’t quite get their space science right. Here are the most common offenses and offenders.

5. Study: Daily Aspirin Can Reduce Your Chances of Dying From Cancer Up to 60%

Researchers have found a drug that’s unexpectedly effective at reducing one’s chances of dying from many common forms of cancer, in some cases lessening fatalities up to 60%. It’s a small, long term daily dose of aspirin.

6. Dolly the Sheep Is Alive, Alive, Alive, Alive!

In 1996, Dolly the sheep made headlines for being the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. She was put down in 2002. But as it turns out, Dolly’s still alive today. A scientist secretly made four copies years ago.

7. The Most Unforgettable Way To Learn About Neutrino Physics

It looks like a scene from some sci-fi epic. But for a week in October, anyone visiting the Manchester Science Festival was able to don a white tyvek suit and paddle through this wormhole of spectacular golden balloons. For science!

8. This Is How Good the Next Mars Rover’s Camera Is

The metal balls in this image are only 2 millimeters in diameter (0.078 inches). The image, which covers an area about 0.5-inch long and is illuminated by four white light-emitting diodes, was taken by NASA’s latest and most advanced camera.

9. Humans Can Only Walk In Circles and We Don’t Know Why

Humans can’t walk in straight lines. If there’s no fixed point of reference, we just walk in circles and inevitably get lost. Nobody knows why, but researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics have confirmed it in several experiments.

10. What Are Anticrepuscular Rays?

Perhaps you have seen something similar to this one day, probably when you thought you were hearing a choir of angels and the Apocalypse was about to break loose. They are anticrespuscular rays, and they happen opposite to the Sun.

Been under a rock? See what else happened this year in our Best of 2010 series.

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