This year, as usual, was a historic year for NASA, spaceflight, astronomy, and space exploration. Though NASA’s share of the U.S. federal budget has been falling for years now, the agency has an uncanny knack for stretching its budget and providing industry and the scientifically curious with almost daily discoveries.
To commemorate another memorable year, NASA has released a rather long look back at the highlights of 2012. A few of the highlights include the successful first privatized resupply mission to the International Space Station by the SpaceX Dragon capsule, the landing of Mars rover Curiosity on the surface of Gale Crater, and the improvements made to the Orion capsule and the heavy-lift rocket that will carry astronauts into deep space. NASA has even included the deaths of Ray Bradbury and Neil Armstrong, and the launch of Rovio’s Angry Birds Space mobile game as part of the year’s space news.