Kate Howells • Dec 07, 2020
The Best of 2020
In November 2020 we asked our members and supporters to cast their votes for the year's planetary science and exploration highlights. Here are the winners!
Best solar system image
Taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft in September, you chose this for your favorite solar system image of 2020. How could anyone not love such a stunning view of Jupiter's clouds?
Most exciting planetary science moment
It was undoubtedly thrilling when NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully collected a sample from asteroid Bennu. Relive the moment with our guide below.
Your Guide to the OSIRIS-REx sample collection
NASA's OSIRIS-REx successfully collected a sample from asteroid Bennu on 20 October 2020.
Best comet NEOWISE image
The appearance of comet NEOWISE in mid-2020 was a welcome surprise for skywatchers. Although every view of comet NEOWISE blows us away, this gorgeous view against a starry background was your favorite.
Planetary science mission of the year
You made OSIRIS-REx your mission of the year, in addition to voting the spacecraft's sample collection at asteroid Bennu as your most exciting moment.
OSIRIS-REx, NASA's mission to asteroid Bennu
NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission will return a sample of asteroid Bennu to Earth in 2023.
Best LightSail 2 photo of Earth taken this year
This was a tight race, but the image you loved the most was this shimmering view of LightSail 2 above southeastern Africa.
Most exciting upcoming mission
We're as excited as you are for NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope mission.
James Webb Space Telescope, the world's new great space observatory
JWST will see galaxies that formed just after the Big Bang and help determine whether planets orbiting other stars could support life.
Best human spaceflight image
You voted this photo from the SpaceX Crew-1 mission as your favorite. The four astronauts made the first operational flight to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Crew program.
The best thing that The Planetary Society accomplished with the support of our members
The people's solar sailing spacecraft, LightSail 2, completed its primary mission this year, an accomplishment that won for the best thing we achieved with your help. Thank you!
LightSail 2 completes its primary mission to demonstrate controlled solar sailing for cubesats
One year after launch, The Planetary Society’s solar sail spacecraft is embarking on an extended mission dedicated to further advancing solar sailing technology.
More than 3,000 people cast their votes for the best of 2020. Thanks for your support, and we looking forward to doing this again in 2021. Onward!
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