2013: The year in science

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SummarySome time in the recent past, technology became far more marketable than science.

Some time in the recent past, technology became far more marketable than science. However, 2013 showed us that there’s still a phenomenal level of interest in science. The most popular example of this was the huge public interest in NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. Be it drones delivering packages or debunking of a branch of human evolution theory, 2013 was an exciting year in science. Here are some of the discoveries that have the potential to change our lives.

Drones

Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones have been used on battlefields for some time. However, this year, commercial usage of drones has been in the spotlight. Late in 2013, online e-commerce giant Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos announced that it plans to begin using drones to deliver packages. In the US, the regulations for private drones are not as strict as in some other nations. This opens up the possibility of using drones for a variety of purposes, such as aerial videos of stadiums during sports events, etc. They may spell the end of helicopter shots in films and television.

Interstellar

This year, NASA finally confirmed that the Voyager, a spacecraft launched in the 1970s, crossed into interstellar space. Thirty-six years after Voyager’s launch, NASA said, “New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been travelling for about one year through plasma, or ionised gas, present in the space between stars. It is in a transitional region outside the solar bubble, where some effects from our sun are evident.” This makes it the first human-made object in that zone.

Lasts long

The most annoying limitation of today’s gadgets is battery life. Although this year batteries got better, they are not as good as what researchers from University of Illinois have developed. The researchers claimed to have developed lithium-ion batteries that are 2,000 times more powerful than those in today’s gadgets. They claimed the batteries could be charged much faster too. Gadgets will benefit from smaller batteries that last longer, but only time will tell if the mass production of these batteries is viable.

Curiosity

Could Mars have supported life 3 billion years ago? NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars last year, stumbled upon a huge crater that was a lake once upon a time in 2013. NASA sent Curiosity to Mars to determine whether the planet was habitable long ago. Scientists said that the planet held water on the surface and streams below the surface during that era. What more

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