2018 was a big year for science and technology, and 2019 is shaping up to be more of the same. Here’s some of the big science stories we’ll be following in the coming year.
On May 20th of this year, the scientific community will be redefining four metric units of measurement, the kilogram, the Kelvin, the mole, and the ampere.
The Event Horizon telescope is an attempt to image the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, known as Sagittarius A. The telescopes actually did the imaging last year, and the team is in the process of collecting the data and analyzing it, but the expectation is that this year we should get, for the first time, an actual image of a black hole
in the first half of the year, Tesla will finally unveil their long-awaited $35,000 baseline Model 3, but it’s also expected sometime this year that Tesla will unveil the Model Y, their crossover model based on the Model 3 platform. and a lot of people are also speculating that at the Model Y reveal, Elon may do a “one more thing” thing and introduce the Tesla pickup.
Other EVs that will be released in 2019 include the Audi e-Tron, the Mercedes EQC, an update for BMW’s i3 with a larger battery, the Jaguar iPace, the Volvo XC40, the Porche Taycan, the Kia e-Niro, The Kia Soul EV, the Hyundai Ioniq, and the Mini Electric.
New Horizons, the probe that sent us those amazing pictures of Pluto back in 2015, is now flying through the Kuiper belt, and just passed the asteroid Ultima Thule, which we’ll be getting detailed images from this year
Hayabusa2 from JAXA will collect soil samples from the asteroid Ryugu this year.
Similarly the Osiris Rex mission from NASA arrived at the asteroid Bennu just about a month ago on December 3rd and will spend 2019 scanning and imaging Bennu.
The Parker Solar Probe will make 2 flybys of the sun this year, one in April and one in September.
There’s also a slew of moon landings coming this year that are worth following.
ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization plans to land on the moon with Chandrayaan-2 which they expected to launch last year but it’s been pushed back to January 31st.
But before that, the Chinese National Space Administration landed Change’4, which actually launched in December, on the far side of the moon.
SpaceX plans to start performing hopper tests this year for their Starship, previously known as BFR,
But perhaps no piece of news or space related event this year can come close to the first tests of the SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule that will finally return the US to manned missions to space.
At the same time, the Boeing Starliner capsule will see space for the first time in March with an uncrewed demo mission, followed by a scheduled manned mission in August of 2019.