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Didymos (bottom right) and its smaller moonlet Dimorphos (center) were the targets of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test. NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

NASA crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid – photos show the last moments of the successful DART mission

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test successfully showed that it is possible to crash a spacecraft into a small asteroid. Whether the approach could save Earth from a future threat remains to be seen.
Thousands of the satellites orbiting Earth are small – like this cubical satellite seen here being released from the International Space Station. NASA

How many satellites are orbiting Earth?

In the past decade, the number of satellites in orbit has skyrocketed thanks to tiny electronics and cheap launches. The crowded night sky is posing problems for astronomers and astronauts.
Two CubeSats, part of a constellation built and operated by Planet Labs Inc. to take images of Earth, were launched from the International Space Station on May 17, 2016. NASA

Hackers could shut down satellites – or turn them into weapons

SpaceX and other companies are rushing to put thousands of small, inexpensive satellites in orbit, but pressure to keep costs low and a lack of regulation leave those satellites vulnerable to hackers.
The electromagnetic spectrum we can access with current technologies is completely occupied. This means experts have to think of creative ways to meet our rocketing demands for data. NASA Johnson/Flickr

We’re using lasers and toaster-sized satellites to beam information faster through space

Free space optical communication will allow the same connectivity in space we already have on Earth. And this will provide benefits across a number of sectors.

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