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10 Awesome Things That Happened In Space In 2014

There were some awesome things that happened in space this part year -- here's a few of our favorite NASA contributions.

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Reid Wiseman's Vine from Space

NASA/Reid Wiseman / Via vine.co

Astronaut Reid Wiseman sent back the first Vine from space – and, whoa! – that's a 92-minute orbit of our Earth compressed into this six-second video.

#GlobalSelfie

View this video on YouTube

NASA / Via youtube.com

On Earth Day 2014, NASA asked The People of Earth one question – “Where are you on Earth Right Now?” And the internet answered – people from around the globe send us their selfies, which we compiled into a “Global Selfie” – a mosaic image that would look like Earth appeared from space on Earth Day.

America's Next Spacecraft

NASA

The Orion spacecraft test flight in December went farther into space than any human-rated spacecraft in 40 years. During its 4.5 hour test, Orion reached 3,600 miles into space, endured temperatures topping 40,000 degrees as it came screeching through the atmosphere at 20,000 miles per hour. No big deal.

International Space Station

NASA

5,200: the number of days humans have lived and worked on the International Space Station conducting science aboard the orbiting laboratory. And we're not leaving soon - in 2014, President Obama called for extending use of the International Space Station until at least 2024.

NASA

Did we mention that we emailed a tool to space and Astronaut Butch Wilmore printed the wrench for use on the space station, after installing the first 3-D printer in space?

Flying Saucer?

NASA

That's not a flying saucer – it's NASA's rocket-powered, saucer-shaped vehicle called the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator. LDSD tested technologies we'll need to land future missions on Mars.

Curiosity Roves Mars

NASA

The Curiosity rover on Mars continued to amaze. Curiosity has measured a tenfold spike in methane in the atmosphere around it. And Curiosity's findings told us that Mount Sharp near the rover’s landing site was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years.

Oh hai, Pluto!

NASA

Shh – don't tell the New Horizons spacecraft its intended target was demoted to a dwarf planet while sleeping. New Horizons was hibernating on its nine-year, 3 billion-mile journey to Pluto, but has woken up this December as it gets ready to start sending back critical information about everyone's favorite drawf planet in July 2015.

Rosetta Rocks Out

ESA

In case you were living under a rock on this planet, the Rosetta space probe and its Philae lander landed on another rock – and for the first time, humans landed a spacecraft on a comet to study it. NASA had a few instruments on board the European Space Agency-led mission.

Earth!

NASA

It was big year for Earth (one of our favorite planets). NASA launched the Global Precipitation Measurement mission, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission and sent RapidScat to the International Space Station – and we have three more Earth science missions planned for launch in early 2015.

715 New Planets!

NASA

NASA's Kepler mission discovered 715 new planets outside our solar system. These newly-verified exoplanets reveal multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system. And astronomers using Kepler announced they found the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.

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