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2014 Science Breakthrough of the Year: Rosetta Spacecraft

January 2, 2015

Announcing the 2014 Science Breakthrough of the Year!



A close encounter with an alien visitor. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Today on Science Update, the number one Science Breakthrough of the Year, as determined by the editors of Science magazine. It’s the spectacular rendezvous of the Rosetta spacecraft and comet 67P, a visitor from the Kuiper Belt beyond planet Neptune. Science deputy news editor Robert Koontz:

ROBERT KOONTZ (Science magazine):

One of the big questions scientists wonder about is, these Kuiper Belt comets, are they pristine? Are they really made out of the original material from the solar system, in which case they’ll tell us a lot about where the earth and the other planets came from. Or, have they been altered? Cause every time you go round the sun, you can have chemical reactions.


Among the questions to be answered is whether comets are responsible for delivering water to Earth, or whether our water arose from other sources. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.