2014's biggest science breakthroughs

  • 16/12/2014

From the outer space achievement of landing on a comet to the inner space of the human body and the rise of the superbug, 2014's been another big year for science.

AUT's Steve Pointing says the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to land on a comet was an incredible achievement.

"I regard it as quite transformational, because one of the things I love is astrobiology – the study of whether or not life could exist, or possibly did exist, on other planets," he said on Firstline this morning.

The mission analysed water on the comet and found it was different from what we find on Earth –debunking theories that comets seeded the early Earth with water, and perhaps life.

So where did the water come from? The new evidence suggests it came from an asteroid bombardment about 3.8 billion years ago, around the same time life first developed on our planet.

Massey University's Heather Hendrickson says she's looking forward to NASA's upcoming mission to lasso an asteroid and dragging it into orbit around the moon.

NASA's new Orion craft, which had a successful test flight recently, will be the first step towards that and putting humans on Mars.

For more on these topics, and the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, watch the video.

source: newshub archive