January – now. Spain’s national politicians are trying to put together a coalition to form a government after last month’s general election created a hung parliament for the first time since democracy was restored. They have until January 13 to succeed or a new election will be called. (50shades: It seems no-one wants a second election but to avoid that some tough compromises will need to be made).
March 14 – European Space Agency and Roscosmos plan to launch the joint ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter on a mission to Mars following postponement of original planned launch on January 7. (50shades: Good to see some international cooperation, if it goes ahead this time).
April 21- Queen Elizabeth II of the UK will mark her 90th birthday. (50shades: So many years of service to her country).
May 5 – National Assembly for Wales election (where we lived before moving to Spain). (50shades: There is likely to be a new party in the Assembly after the election with UKIP possibly gaining as many as 10 seats. This could herald the end to Labour’s monopoly on power and mean a return to coalition rule. The only question being: Which parties would be in such a coalition? Most likely Labour/Plaid Cymru/Liberal Democrats).
May 9 – A transit of Mercury will occur when the planet comes between the Sun and the Earth, and Mercury is seen as a small black dot moving across the face of the Sun. Full transit will be visible in South America, Eastern North America, Western Europe, and a partial transit everywhere else except Australia and far eastern Asia. (50shades comment: Nothing to get excited about, fairly frequent most recent one was in 2006).
May 12-15 A special celebration will take place in the grounds of Windsor Castle, UK, in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday.
June 1 – Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest (35.4 miles) and deepest rail tunnel, is scheduled to be opened in Switzerland. (50shades: The Swiss are good at creating tunnels. This will help trade).
June 10-12 – UK national commemorations to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.
July 4 – America’s NASA Juno spacecraft is expected to arrive at Jupiter. (50shades: Wait for pictures of Jupiter to fill TV screens and newspapers).
July 18-21 – Republican Party National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (50shades: Maybe too close to call but, sticking out neck, it will be Ted Cruz as nominated candidate).
July 25-28 – Democratic Party National Convention at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia. (50shades: Hillary Clinton will win the presidential nomination).
August 5-21 – 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (50shades: Expect thrills and spills aplenty plus a scandal or two. Wow, is it really four years since London Olympics?).
September 3 – NASA plans to launch the OSIRIS-REx mission to retrieve a sample from the asteroid Bennu. (50shades: Doubtless it will be a success but what’s the point?)
Sometime in September – China plans to complete the Five hundred metre Aperture Spherical Telescope. (50shades: So China wants its own telescope but will it be any better than what we have now?).
November 1 – Sierra Nevada Corporation plans to launch Dream Chaser, a privately built spaceplane on an unmanned debut mission. (50shades: Sounds interesting).
November 8 – USA presidential election (50shades: Republican candidate, whoever he is, will win).
December 31 – The last remaining American, British and Australian troops ‘will’ withdraw from Afghanistan. (50shades: It won’t happen, there will be a reason why they need to remain).