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Satellites rule everything around us. They help us track potentially catastrophic storms, navigate traffic jams, lead us to hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and guide self-driving cars.

"We’re building a foundation because we see that someday, humanity could be using space to be better." - Joel Spark, co-founder of Spire

But the satellites of the future may look like the ones of the past. For decades, the satellites we launched into space were about as big as cars and weighed about as much (they also cost a fortune). But that could change, thanks to the “cubesats” made by companies like Spire. These satellites can fit in the palm of your hand and cost a fraction of their predecessors. They also burn to a crisp on reentry (which means no space pollution!), and transmit more data than several behemoth satellites combined. And that means they’re going to be the data-gathering tools of the future.

Up Next

Aerospace
This “Hamster Ball” Robot Could Explore Lunar Caves
spherical robot Daedalus
Aerospace
This “Hamster Ball” Robot Could Explore Lunar Caves
The spherical Daedalus robot may explore lunar caves during future ESA moon missions, looking for places that could potentially host human settlements.

The spherical Daedalus robot may explore lunar caves during future ESA moon missions, looking for places that could potentially host human settlements.

Agriculture
This Kenyan Startup Is Turning Locust Swarms into Animal Feed
locust swarms animal feed
Agriculture
This Kenyan Startup Is Turning Locust Swarms into Animal Feed
The locust swarms in East Africa are destroying crops, but The Bug Picture plans to transform them into profits.

The locust swarms in East Africa are destroying crops, but The Bug Picture plans to transform them into profits.

Vaccines
A New Molecule May Take The Edge Off Vaccines — And Make Them Perform Better
adjuvants
Vaccines
A New Molecule May Take The Edge Off Vaccines — And Make Them Perform Better
Adjuvants create a better vaccine immune response, but they also cause inflammation. A peptide may help curb their side effects while improving protection.

Adjuvants create a better vaccine immune response, but they also cause inflammation. A peptide may help curb their side effects while improving protection.

Genetics
Can RNA Editing Catch Up To CRISPR?
rna editing
Genetics
Can RNA Editing Catch Up To CRISPR?
Developed in the 1980s, RNA editing was overshadowed by CRISPR. But the last few years have seen a resurgence of interest in the gene editing technique.

Developed in the 1980s, RNA editing was overshadowed by CRISPR. But the last few years have seen a resurgence of interest in the gene editing technique.

Robotics
Pocket-Sized Bot Can Perform Surgery Better Than Humans
surgical robot
Robotics
Pocket-Sized Bot Can Perform Surgery Better Than Humans
A tiny origami-inspired robot assists surgeons in a mock surgery.

A tiny origami-inspired robot assists surgeons in a mock surgery.

Extreme Weather
New Study Into How Tornadoes Form Could Save Lives
how tornadoes form
Extreme Weather
New Study Into How Tornadoes Form Could Save Lives
To improve our understanding of how tornadoes form, researchers involved in the TORUS Project will send tech straight into supercell thunderstorms.

To improve our understanding of how tornadoes form, researchers involved in the TORUS Project will send tech straight into supercell thunderstorms.

Science
Scientists Grew a Mini Brain in a Lab. It Has Human-Like Brain Waves.
Scientists Grew a Mini Brain in a Lab. It Has Human-Like Brain Waves.
Science
Scientists Grew a Mini Brain in a Lab. It Has Human-Like Brain Waves.
For the first time, a lab-grown mini brain has brain waves. Researchers can now launch new ways to study brain disorders. But the question of consciousness in the brain-like organoid could raise concern.

For the first time, a lab-grown mini brain has brain waves. Researchers can now launch new ways to study brain disorders. But the question of consciousness in the brain-like organoid could raise concern.

Dispatches
GMO Mosquitoes Could Be Our Best New Weapon against Disease
GMO Mosquitoes Could Be Our Best New Weapon against Disease
Dispatches
GMO Mosquitoes Could Be Our Best New Weapon against Disease
It sounds like science fiction, but it could save millions of lives.
By Jason Rasgon

It sounds like science fiction, but it could save millions of lives.

Wrong
The Y2K Bug is Going to Bite!
The Y2K Bug is Going to Bite!
Watch Now
Wrong
The Y2K Bug is Going to Bite!
Did we narrowly avoid the apocalypse because of some world-saving last minute de-bugging.
Watch Now

In the months and days leading up to the year 2000, many grew alarmed that a computer bug would collapse networks and bring down economies and global stability in its wake. Did we narrowly avoid the apocalypse because of some world-saving last minute de-bugging? Or was the worldwide panic just way off base?