Science Illustrated



1 JANUARY: San Francisco bans the sale of goods in styrofoam. The ban aims to improve the aquatic environmen­t by reducing the amount of waste including styrofoam, which does not biodegrade. 27-29 JANUARY: Capsules for the Hyperloop tube train tested on a 1.5 km track in California. TU DELFT

FEBRUARY: Nine linked radio telescopes on Earth "photograph" the event horizon of a black hole for the first time. The subject is the Sagittariu­s A* black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.

MARCH: Nintendo expected to launch its new game console called the Switch.

MARCH: Ori robotic furniture hits stores. Inspired by origami, the furniture can be folded in different ways, converting a living room into an office or a bedroom, etc. The target group is people living in small flats.

APRIL: 70 % of evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster return home.

JUNE: German scientists install ultralight GPS transmitte­rs on anything from butterflie­s to goats, to map the behaviour of flocks of animals in much more detail than ever before using a receiver mounted on the Internatio­nal Space Station.

JUNE: In the NASA Space Robotics Challenge, several teams compete to programme the Robonaut 5 humanoid robot to carry out tasks in a simulated environmen­t on Mars.

JUNE: SpaceVR launches a virtual reality satellite into a low Earth orbit to record 360 degree video, allowing people wearing VR goggles to experience Earth seen from space.

JULY: In Japan, lettuce king Spread becomes the world's first fully automated lettuce farm. The company says all phases of lettuce growing except sowing the seeds will be taken over by industrial robots.

JULY: China's spacecraft Chang’e 5 lands on the Moon to collect samples and returns to Earth again.

21 AUGUST: A total solar eclipse can be experience­d in several US states such as Illinois. The maximum duration of the solar eclipse is 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

15 SEPTEMBER: NASA's Cassini probe is destroyed after a 20 year journey, during which the probe has taken a close look at Saturn's rings and its largest moon, Titan. Before Cassini burns up in Saturn's atmosphere, it will complete 22 orbits between the planet's surface and the inner side of the rings.

SEPTEMBER: After a one year journey, NASA’s OSIRISREx asteroid hunter flies by Earth to take advantage of Earth's gravity to be hurled further into space, heading for the Bennu asteroid.

OCTOBER: Microsoft and Facebook link Bilbao, Spain, and the US state of Virginia by a 6,600-km-long, undersea, fibre-optic cable, so the countries can exchange data at a speed of 160 terabits/s.

OCTOBER: Moley Robotics introduces a chef robot that can cook in your own kitchen based on a recipe on your smartphone.

NOVEMBER: China inaugurate­s a nuclear power plant in Shandong, which is supposedly meltdown-proof. It is the first time that a generation IV plant is put into commercial service.

NOVEMBER: A huge sarcophagu­s seals Chernobyl's devastated reactor 4 for good. The steel enclosure weighs 36,000 t and is 110 m high.

DECEMBER: US Moon Express becomes the first private company to send a spacecraft to the Moon.

DECEMBER: SpaceX becomes the first private aerospace company to send astronauts to the ISS.

DECEMBER: The hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint passenger train starts.

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