Scientists at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration will find out whether the mission to fix the myopia of the Hubble space telescope really has been a success. Final tests of the new lenses and cameras neatly fitted in December will bring the first sharp images of cosmic objects at the very edges of the Universe, which will begin to answer important questions: such as how old is it and will it ever come to an end?
Back on Earth, geologists in California will continue to watch out for signs of the Big One. An earthquake in one of the world's richest regions would be the final nightmare for the residents of Los Angeles.
British Nuclear Fuels will turn on the switches at its Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp) in Sellafield, Cumbria, where plutonium will be separated out from spent nuclear fuel in large quantities.
Nuclear Electric will start generating electricity from its Sizewell B US-style pressurised water reactor.
But the Government will fudge the issue of allowing the company to begin construction of a successor plant, the twin- reactor Sizewell C. The decision will be postponed, pending privatisation of the nuclear industry itself.
The discovery of a cure for Aids is unlikely this year, or indeed next. However, new approaches are likely to be adopted, including trials of prototype 'therapeutic vaccines', intended to work by stimulating the body's defences to minimise the destructive impact of HIV and thereby prolong the lifespan of infected people.Reuse content