Decade of science highs and lows



Science 50. Water on the moon: NASA sends a probe called Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, crashing into the moon. Weeks later, scientists report that an analysis of the impact debris confirms the existence of “significant” reserves of water ice. The mission followed up on indications from earlier probes (Clementine, Lunar Prospector, Chandrayaan 1, Cassini) and even from Apollo lunar samples. Some speculated that the findings could lead to a fresh round of lunar missions, but as the decade came to a close, NASA's plans for future exploration were still under review at the White House.

For the rest of the 50-year timeline, you can revisit the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s separately, or see them all together on CASW's Web site.

Here are five more “Oh! Oh!” and “uh-oh” moments that are worth mentioning in a 10-year science review:

Oh! Oh! The International Space Station! The first expedition crew moves into the space station on Nov. 2, 2000, marking the beginning of full-time habitation that has continued for almost 10 years. The crew receives its first paying passenger in 2001 when millionaire investor Dennis Tito comes aboard. Six more have visited since then.

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