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Articles on Space

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Private companies have launched dozens of imaging satellites – like the two small boxes in the middle of the photo – into orbit in recent years. NASA/Steve Jurvetson

War in Ukraine highlights the growing strategic importance of private satellite companies – especially in times of conflict

Private satellite companies have boomed in recent years, and many experts have wondered what role they would play in a conflict. They have proved to be invaluable to Ukraine in recent months.
Russia controls six modules aboard the International Space Station. STS-122 Shuttle Crew, NASA via flickr

Russia’s withdrawal from the International Space Station could mean the early demise of the orbital lab – and sever another Russian link with the West

The head of the Russian space agency announced that the country will withdraw from the International Space Station after 2024. A space policy expert explains what this means and why it’s happening now.
VFTS 243 is a binary system of a large, hot blue star and a black hole orbiting each other, as seen in this animation. ESO/L.Calçada

Astronomers have found an especially sneaky black hole – discovery sheds light on star death, black hole formation and gravitational waves

Astronomers have discovered the first dormant black hole outside of the Milky Way. These black holes are not absorbing matter from a nearby star, making them incredibly hard to find.
Satellite imagery monitors environmental changes to inform agricultural decisions. Agricultural patterns are distinctly visible in this near-vertical false colour infrared photography of farmland south of Khartoum, Sudan. (JSC/NASA)

Space agriculture boldly grows food where no one has grown before

Technologies being developed for growing food in space have contributed to advances in agriculture and crops on Earth.
China and the U.S. both have big plans for the Moon, but there are a number of reasons why no country could actually claim ownership of any land there. 3dScultor/iStock via Getty Images

NASA’s head warned that China may try to claim the Moon – two space scholars explain why that’s unlikely to happen

A comment by Bill Nelson, the NASA administrator, sparked a strong public response from the Chinese government. But due to legal and practical reasons, no country could take over the Moon anytime soon.
The mirror on the James Webb Space Telescope is fully aligned and producing incredibly sharp images, like this test image of a star. NASA/STScI via Flickr

The James Webb Space Telescope is finally ready to do science – and it’s seeing the universe more clearly than even its own engineers hoped for

It has taken eight months to test and calibrate all of the instruments and modes of the James Webb Space Telescope. A scientist on the team explains what it took to get Webb up and running.

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