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The longest-serving space station ever, the International Space Station was constructed by astronauts starting in 1998, and has been continuously occupied since November 2000. Most astronauts live there for six months at a time, studying the health effects of long-term missions in space.
A famous space telescope that helped scientists find evidence the universe was accelerating in its expansion, and narrowed down the age of the universe. This instrument was launched in 1990 and was serviced across four space shuttle missions.
A long-serving satellite that gathers data on the Earth's changing climate, it was launched in 1999 and helped improve climate information for cloud height and albedo (reflected sunlight). It also tracks fast-changing events such as fires or severe storms.
An Earth-observation satellite from North Korea. Due to that country's nuclear aspirations, the February 2016 launch has come under international scrutiny and in some cases, criticism.
This weather satellite, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), launched in 1998. Its instruments track climate factors such as atmosphere, cloud cover, ozone and sea surface temperature.
The Aqua mission looks at the movement of water around the Earth, including processes such as precipitation, soil moisture and sea ice. It can also monitor vegetation cover and aerosols in Earth's atmosphere. It was launched in 2002.
A mysterious, reusable Air Force space plane that can operate uncrewed in Earth orbit for hundreds of days at a time. Its mission remains classified. The X-37 started as a NASA project before being transferred to the Department of Defense. The craft's first orbital mission took place in 2010.
This is a polar-orbiting satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Its role is to collect data on Earth's environment and atmosphere to add to climate records and improve weather predictions. It launched in 2005.
The Japanese Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS), also called Daichi, operated from 2006 to 2011 and remains in orbit. It was used to improve cartography and disaster monitoring in Asia and the Pacific.
Launched in 2013, Landsat 8 has better sensors than any Landsat satellite ever launched before it. The mission is a joint one between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey and aims to monitor changes in the Earth's land use over time.
Launched in 2009, this is the last of its series of polar-orbiting satellites. The satellite is for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and collects data for weather forecasts.
Mission Ended: Tiangong-1
China's first space station. It was put into space in a single launch in 2011. It was then visited three times by spacecraft, including two missions with taikonauts (Chinese astronauts) on board. The last mission was in 2013, and the station fell to Earth in April 2018. Here's everything you need to know about China's falling space station.
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