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The SpaceX crew capsule will launch out of Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX

After a minor setback, a new era in space travel and tourism is set to launch this weekend.

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The Earth's atmosphere. NASA

By Jeremy Deaton

You may have heard about the hole in the ozone layer, which hovers over Antarctica. It has shrunk over time thanks to policies that curbed the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. In the nearly 40 years that NASA has kept track, it has never been smaller. That's the good news.

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NASA ScienceCasts: Keeping an Eye on Earth

For much of human history, it's been hard for scientists to learn about remote areas of the Earth that they cannot observe directly.

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Greenland's fast-melting Kangerdlugssup glacier. NASA / Jim Yungel

Greenland and Antarctica have raised global sea levels by more than half an inch in the last 16 years, according to data from the most advanced laser that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has ever launched into space to observe the earth.

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NASA astronaut Jessica Meir gives a thumbs up after she, Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan landed in their Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on April 17. NASA / GCTC / Andrey Shelepin

Three astronauts landed back on Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday.

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An artist's depiction of Dragonfly. Johns Hopkins APL / NASA

U.S. space agency NASA said Thursday its new mission would explore Titan, Saturn's largest moon, using a drone lander called Dragonfly.

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NASA

By Julia Conley

NASA scientists confirmed in a report Wednesday that 2018 was one of the hottest years on record, continuing what the New York Times called "an unmistakable warming trend."

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A second, slightly less rectangular iceberg was seen during an Operation IceBridge flight over the northern Antarctic Peninsula on Oct. 16, 2018. NASA / Jeremy Harbeck

Last week, NASA tweeted a photo of a perfectly natural and rectangular iceberg spotted during a flyover of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

The unusual image blew up online and now NASA is back with more photos of weirdly angular icebergs from the same Operation IceBridge trip.

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Last month's temperatures across land and sea tied with 2017 as the fourth highest for September in the 1880-2018 record. NOAA

After a summer of record-breaking heatwaves and devastating wildfires, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the planet's hottest years in recorded history.

From January through September, the average global temperature was 1.39°F above the 20th century average of 57.5°F, making it the fourth warmest year-to-date on record, and only 0.43°F lower than the record-high set in 2016 for the same period, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) announced Wednesday. NOAA's global temperature dataset record dates back to 1880.

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The ICESat-2 will point lasers at Earth's ice sheets. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

NASA will soon activate the "most advanced laser instrument of its kind" to study Earth's changing polar ice.

The incredibly precise Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) is the main feature of the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) that successfully launched into space from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 15.

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Climate science marks a troubling anniversary this week: in June of 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen told Congress that global warming had already begun to affect the world and would only get worse.

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