Satellites ....Everything About Them

Space is an amazing territory. We humans have not yet explored a tiny bit portion of this magnificent horizon which we see above our head. We all keep hearing words like stars, planets, solar system, galaxy & much more. This list also includes satellites. One can say that objects like the moon which exist naturally in space is a satellite as it revolves around Earth in an orbit. On top of all these objects man also made artificial satellites for a variety of purposes.


History of Satellites:

In October 1957 the first satellite of the world was launched by the Soviet Union. They named it as Sputnik 1. This was the first-ever artificial satellite sent in the space orbit. The entire world is aware of the strained relationships of Soviet Union & USA. Well, the USA did something expected to endorse its cold war state. The USA sent their first-ever satellite right after few months in January 2018 & named it as Explorer 1. Since then these two countries have been in a race to expand their footprints in space. Here, the Soviet Union also sent a satellite which had first-ever living specie on it which was a dog named Laika. This satellite followed the first one in space in November 1957 & was called Sputnik 2.


How are they Launched?

Unlike the natural satellites which exist in the space on their own, artificial ones need to be force sent in the space using different techniques. However, primarily a rocket is used to push them in space against gravity. They are left in the orbit where they get adequate gravitational force to revolve around the earth but can’t move away or closer.


Types of Satellites

There are basically three main types of satellites. These three types handle most activities & tasks while orbiting the earth.

1.   Fixed Satellite to handle voice, data & video transmission.

2.   Mobile Satellite to support navigation (GPS) and to connect remote ships, aircraft & etc.

3.   Scientific Satellites for research purpose like meteorological data, land survey image & similar scientific support work

Interesting Facts

·      ISS (International Space Station) is the largest satellite currently orbiting the earth.

·      Polar-orbiting satellites revolve around earth from north to south pole direction & scan the earth strip by strip.

·      Around 500 satellites are there in low orbit territory which is less than 2000 Kms from the face of the earth.

·      Two primary components in a satellite is an antenna to send & receive signals & power source based upon Solar or Battery.

·      On average, a satellite needs to keep pace in the space above or at 28200 Km/H.

·      In 2009 two communication satellites from USA & Soviet Union collided & created a first-ever satellite crash in space.


Approximately 6500 satellites have already been sent to space since the first one in 1957. This data is as of 2010. Surprisingly only 3600 are still in space & from them, just 1000 are operational as of now. So what do you think happened to the rest? As expected, we created a mess in space as well. They are now called as space debris & continue to contaminate space as well. On one had satellites have gifted us so much more than we could expect. But at the same time, it cannot be a burden on the space & pollute it. Hope we find a solution for this problem & continue getting benefits of this technological wonder.