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Space (or outer space) describes the vast empty regions between planets and stars. The study of these, and other, astronomical objects is called astronomy, one of the oldest sciences. It is often said that space exploration began with the launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. Then, in an almost unbelievable feat of human achievement, in 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin travelled to the Moon and set foot on the surface during the Apollo 11 mission. Recently, it has become clear that the possibility of space colonization may no longer be exclusively reserved for science-fiction stories, and many controversial issues surrounding space have come to light, including commercial spaceflight, space laws and space weapons.

Selected article

The ISS seen by Space Shuttle Atlantis during the final flyaround of the ISS by the Space Shuttle on STS-135,19 July 2011

The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, it follows the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations, and America's Skylab. The ISS is a modular structure whose first component was launched in 1998. Now the largest artificial body in orbit, it can often be seen at the appropriate time with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. ISS components have been launched by American Space Shuttles as well as Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets. Budget constraints led to the merger of three space station projects with the Japanese Kibō module and Canadian robotics. In 1993 the partially built components for a Soviet/Russian space station Mir-2, the proposed American Freedom, and the proposed European Columbus merged into a single multinational programme. The ISS is arguably the most expensive single item ever constructed.

Selected picture

433 Eros asteroid
Credit: NASA

The asteroid 433 Eros was named after the Greek god of love Eros. This S-type asteroid is the second-largest near-Earth asteroid. This image shows the view looking from one end of the asteroid across the gouge on its underside and toward the opposite end.

Space news

Upcoming spaceflight launches

The next scheduled launch is of two imaging satellites on a Dnepr-1 rocket. Launch from Dombarovsky Air Base is set for 19:11 UTC on June 19, 2014.
The next scheduled manned launch is of Soyuz TMA-14M on a Soyuz-FG rocket, carrying three Expedition 42 crew members to the International Space Station. Launch from Baikonur Site 1/5 is scheduled for 20:24 UTC on September 25, 2014.
For a full launch schedule see 2014 in spaceflight

Astronomical events

Portal:Astronomy/Events/July 2014

Space-related portals

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