The new year is likely to be a tough one for NASA. There's a decidedly anti-science administration coming into power. Trump has already vowed to cut climate change research and it's unclear if he even knows that we've been to the moon. For now, we can look back at some of the most beautiful photos of 2016 from NASA.
Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls
NASA chose 66 photos for its 2016 roundup. They tell stories of international cooperation, successful launches, successful landings, budgetary wranglings, cosmic events and generational inspiration. We've pulled some of our favourites below. All captions come from NASA. You can check out the complete set right here.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky) This composite image, made from ten frames, shows the International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly five miles per second, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, from Newbury Park, California. Onboard as part of Expedition 50 are: NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson: Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko, Sergey Ryzhikov, and Oleg Novitskiy: and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) Support personnel wait at a helicopter for the arrival of astronaut Tim Peake of the European Space Agency shortly after he, Tim Kopra of NASA, and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos landed in their Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Saturday, June 18, 2016. Kopra, Peake, and Malenchenko are returning after six months in space where they served as members of the Expedition 46 and 47 crews onboard the International Space Station.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky) The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Ryzhikov, Kimbrough, and Borisenko will spend the next four months living and working aboard the International Space Station.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani) Astronaut Mark Kelly, takes a selfie with Kid Science Advisor Jacob Leggette during a meeting with ten other Kid Science Advisors to discuss what they think is important in science, technology, and innovation, Friday, October 21, 2016 at the White House. After a question from Jacob at the White House Science Fair about whether President Obama had a Kid Science Advisor, the White House launched a Kid Science Advisor campaign, which drew over 2,500 ideas from students about science and STEM education.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) In this 30 second exposure taken with a circular fish-eye lens, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower as a photographer wipes moisture from the camera lenses Friday, August 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) A view of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Red Square is seen through the front window of the bus carrying Expedition 47 crew members: NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, Russian cosmonauts Alexei Ovchinin, and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, as the crew arrives to lay roses at the site where Russian space icons are interred as part of traditional pre-launch ceremonies Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, Moscow, Russia.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) The Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 48 crew members NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, Russian cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin, and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016(Kazakh time). Williams, Ovchinin, and Skripochka are returning after 172 days in space where they served as members of the Expedition 47 and 48 crews onboard the International Space Station.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani) The moon, or supermoon, is seen as it sets over the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 in Washington. A supermoon occurs when the moon's orbit is closest (perigee) to Earth. Early Monday morning, the moon was the closest it has been to Earth since 1948 and it appeared 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger than the average monthly full moon.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, July 4, 2016. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan the morning of July 7, Kazakh time (July 6 Eastern time.) All three will spend approximately four months on the orbital complex, returning to Earth in October.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) A photograph of NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is seen on the back of camera as Bolden testifies before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Space during a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Thursday, March 17, 2016, at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, left, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, center, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos are seen inside the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft a few moments after they landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016(Kazakh time). Williams, Ovchinin, and Skripochka are returning after 172 days in space where they served as members of the Expedition 47 and 48 crews onboard the International Space Station.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) Annie Glenn, Widow of former astronaut and Senator John Glenn, pays her respects to her late husband as he lies in repose, under a United States Marine honour guard, in the Rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. [Flickr]