What is Satellite?

Ever wonder what is Satellite? Satellite is mostly called EYES IN THE SKY, with thousands reasons its so important to human life. A satellite is an object in space that orbits or circles around a bigger object. There are two kinds of satellites: natural (such as the moon orbiting the Earth) or artificial (such as the International Space Station orbiting the Earth).
There are dozens upon dozens of natural satellites in the solar system, with almost every planet having at least one moon.
Artificial satellites, however, did not become a reality until the mid-20th century. The first artificial satellite was Sputnik, a Russian beach-ball-size space probe that lifted off on Oct. 4, 1957. That act shocked much of the western world, as it was believed the Soviets did not have the capability to send satellites into space.

 moon orbiting the Earth satellite

Moon orbiting the Earth

Why Are Satellites Important?

The bird’s-eye view that satellites have allows them to see large areas of Earth at one time. This ability means satellites can collect more data, more quickly, than instruments on the ground.

Satellites also can see into space better than telescopes at Earth’s surface. That’s because satellites fly above the clouds, dust and molecules in the atmosphere that can block the view from ground level.

Before satellites, TV signals didn’t go very far. TV signals only travel in straight lines. So they would quickly trail off into space instead of following Earth’s curve. Sometimes mountains or tall buildings would block them. Phone calls to faraway places were also a problem. Setting up telephone wires over long distances or underwater is difficult and costs a lot.

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With satellites, TV signals and phone calls are sent upward to a satellite. Then, almost instantly, the satellite can send them back down to different locations on Earth.

How Do Satellites Launched?

Most satellites are launched into space on rockets. A satellite orbits Earth when its speed is balanced by the pull of Earth’s gravity. Without this balance, the satellite would fly in a straight line off into space or fall back to Earth. Satellites orbit Earth at different heights, different speeds and along different paths.

Can Satellites Crash Into Each Other?

Actually, they can. NASA and other U.S. and international organizations keep track of satellites in space. Satellites are launched into space in an orbit design to avoid crashing with another. But orbits can change over time. More satellites launched into space increase the chances of crashing.

In February 2009, two communications satellites – one American and one Russian – collided in space. This was the first time two artificial satellites collided accidentally.

Uses Of Satellites Today?

NASA satellites help scientists study Earth and space.

Satellites looking toward Earth provide information about clouds, oceans, land and ice. They also measure gases in the atmosphere, such as ozone and carbon dioxide, and the amount of energy that Earth absorbs and emits. And satellites monitor wildfires, volcanoes and their smoke.

Satellite orbiting the Earth

All this information helps scientists predict weather and climate. The information also helps public health officials track disease and famine; it helps farmers know what crops to plant; and it helps emergency workers respond to natural disasters.

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Satellites that face toward space have a variety of jobs. Some watch for dangerous rays coming from the sun. Others explore asteroids and comets, the history of stars, and the origin of planets. Some satellites fly near or orbit other planets. These spacecraft may look for evidence of water on Mars or capture close-up pictures of Saturn’s rings

Here, learn about Satellite and how it works

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