What the sky looked like on 2006
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Only a few years after the turn of the new millennium, mankind continued to push the bounds of what is possible in space.
2006 was the year of NASA’s Stardust mission. Stardust was a space probe that collected samples of cosmic dust from the comet, Wild 2. The probe was able to successfully collect samples and return them to the Earth. This was the first mission of its kind in history.
Not all technological developments were positive this year, though. Nuclear weapons continued to proliferate throughout the world, as North Korea launched its first nuclear test. This made North Korea a nuclear power and therefore heightened tensions on an already strained region.
2006 marked the end of an era in Iraq as well. After the United States and other allied forces invaded Iraq in 2003, Sadaam Hussein, the longtime dictator of Iraq, had been overthrown. In 2006, Hussein was sentenced to die and his execution was carried out. While this was by no means an end to the fighting and political violence in Iraq, this did bring a chapter of Iraqi history to a close.
There were two other famous violent episodes in 2006 that reverberated through popular culture as well. The first event was the unexpected death of Australian wildlife expert and television show host, Steve Irwin in September. Irwin was killed by a stingray in a freak accident in the shallow waters of the Australian coast. The second was an incident involving a shotgun and the vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney. Cheney accidentally shot his hunting companion, Harry Whittington while participating in a quail hunt in Texas.
In film, 2006 saw The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, starring Johnny Depp, and Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig top the box office. Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Walk the Line were the big films at the 78th Academy Awards of 2006.
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