Could Ukraine war spread to space and endanger satellites?

Could Ukraine war spread to space and endanger satellites?

Despite conflicts on Earth, satellites orbit in peace. But use of Elon Musk’s Starlink to aid Ukraine has Russia looking to the sky with hostile eyes. A rocket booster carrying three Gonets-M satellites and the first Skif-D satellite of the Sfera programme lifts...

While all kinds of international conflicts occur on the ground, up in space things have been pretty peaceful. We depend on peace in the skies because such things as social media, multiplayer video games, Google classrooms and Zoom sessions rely on satellites bouncing signals across the earth. Correspondent Tira Shubart tells us why tensions on the ground in Ukraine could disturb the tacit and explicit agreements over satellites in the sky. 

Exercise: Let’s imagine that each student has been hired to draw up an international agreement to govern and protect satellites that need to cross the skies over international borders. What are the five most important considerations that would have to be included in this treaty? Some things to consider are: The citizens in every country want fast and reliable Internet; people want their privacy protected; and countries are concerned about the possible military use of satellites.

Decoder: With Artemis, US aims to return humans to the Moon

Decoder: With Artemis, US aims to return humans to the Moon

It’s been 50 years since humans walked on the Moon. Now, the U.S. is launching a costly program to return there and possibly pave the way to Mars. NASA’s Space Launch System rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida,...

Five decades after humans walked on the Moon, the U.S. space agency NASA is leading an international endeavor to return there at a cost of $93 billion. Correspondent Natasha Comeau decodes the Artemis project, a series of missions to build a long-term human presence on the Moon. The 21 nations that have signed the Artemis Accords for space exploration reflect today’s political divisions. Missing from the collaboration are China and Russia, which plan to build a lunar station of their own. It was competition with the then Soviet Union in the 1960s that spurred the first space race and resulted in the historic 1969 moon landing. Now, a host of private corporations are funding their own space initiatives.

Exercise: In teams, have students form their own private space exploration company. Were they able to successfully build their own rocket that could take people into space, what would be their mission? What would they hope to get out of their space exploration ventures? Have each team come up with three things they think space missions could accomplish.

I wish I had thanked Mikhail Gorbachev for changing my life

I wish I had thanked Mikhail Gorbachev for changing my life

I was in Berlin in 1989 when the Wall came down. I wish I had thanked Mikhail Gorbachev for changing my life and letting me witness history. The author perched on a Berlin underground station entrance in the fall of 1989 (Photo courtesy of Elaine Monaghan) In June...

In 1989, Elaine Monaghan found herself in Germany. She would spend two decades covering international affairs for the Reuters news service, but the night she witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall changed her life. Reflecting on that event, she marks the death of Mikhail Gorbachev, then leader of the Soviet Union, whose decisions contributed to the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the USSR. Monaghan tells us that “even if you don’t always grasp everything that is happening around you, if you follow an unmarked, difficult path, opting not to resist the pull of history, walls can come tumbling down.” She offers youth an important reminder that, with strife all around us, they can still make a difference.

Exercise: The Berlin Wall was a concrete barrier that separated East and West Berlin, dividing two countries – the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. Can your students think of a wall today, either physical or geographic, that acts as a political divide? What might bring that wall down?

Gorbachev: Reflections on a statesman who shaped history

Gorbachev: Reflections on a statesman who shaped history

Alternately revered and vilified, Mikhail Gorbachev shaped history as the last Soviet leader. Our correspondents recall his impact and legacy. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev waves during a military parade marking the anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, Red...

At a time of sharp division between the West and Russia, News Decoder remembers an era when another intractable divide was bridged. At the height of the Cold War, two adversaries, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, forged an agreement to reduce nuclear arms. Alternately revered and vilified, Gorbachev shaped history as the last Soviet leader and the one whose decisions helped lift the Iron Curtain. To mark Gorbachev’s death, News Decoder correspondents who covered the collapse of the Soviet Union examine how the former Soviet leader’s legacy has evolved over time.

Exercise: Gorbachev left an ambiguous legacy. He is heralded in much of the West but viewed less favorably in Russia. Can your student’s identify other historical or contemporary figures who are viewed in a contradictory way? What’s at the root of such contradictory perspectives?

Tag: Cold War