Rain. Ocean waves. Dark matter, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and other mysteries. To study these things it helps to have a satellite.
We're lucky that the US has plenty—nearly 60 research birds up in the ether, peeping down at the ground or scanning as far as the edge of the universe. And the star fleet is only getting more interesting: Last week, NASA launched the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission—four identical satellites that will orbit in a pyramid formation to take measurements of a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection, which causes (gak!) giant space explosions. From the granddaddy Hubble telescope to itty-bitty cutie-pie CubeSats, the science space armada is shaping up to be a powerful force.