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Satellites: Worldwide Uses and Advantages

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    SatellitesSatellite is probably the most useful invention since the wheel. Satelliteshave the capability to let you talk with someone across the nation or let youclose a business deal through video communication. Almost everything today isheading towards the use of satellites, such as telephones. At&t has used thiscommunications satellite (top right) ever since the late 1950s. TVS and radiosare also turning to the use of satellites. RCA and Sony have released satellitedishes for Radio and Television services. New technology also allows themilitary to use satellites as a weapon. The new ION cannon is a satellite thatcan shoot a particle beam anywhere on earth and create an earthquake. They canalso use it’s capability for imaging enhancement, which allows you to zoom in onsomeone’s nose hairs all the way from space.

    Robert Gossard (left) was one of the most integral inventors of thesatellite. He was born on October 5, 1882. He earned his Masters and Doctoraldegree in Physics at Clark University. He conducted research on improving solid-propellant rockets. He is known best for firing the world’s first successfulliquid-propellant rocket on March 16, 1926. This was a simple pressure-fedrocket that burned gasoline and liquid oxygen. It traveled only 56m (184 ft) butproved to the world that the principle was valid. Gossard Died August 10, 1945.

    Gossard did not work alone, he was also in partnership with a Russian theoristnamed Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Tsiolkovsky was born on September 7, 1857. As achild Tsiolkovsky educated himself and rose to become a High School teacher ofmathematics in the small town of Kaluga, 145km (90mi) south of Moscow. In hisearly years Tsiolkovsky caught scarlet fever and became 80% deaf. Together, thetheoretical work of Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and the experimental work ofAmerican Robert Gossard, confirmed that a satellite might be launched by meansof a rocket.

    I chose the satellite to research because many things such as computers,TVS and telephones are using satellites, and I thought it would be a good ideato figure out how they work and the history behind them before we start to usethem more rapidly. I also picked the satellite because I think that my lifewould differ without it. For instance, The Internet or World Wide Web would runvery slowly or would cease to exist altogether. We wouldn’t be able to talk topeople across the world because telephone wires would have to travel across theAtlantic, and if they did, the reception would be horrible. We wouldn’t knowwhat the weather would be like on earth, or what the stars and planets are likein space. We wouldn’t be able to watch live television premiers across thecountry because all those are via satellite.

    A satellite is a secondary object that revolves in a closed orbit arounda planet or the sun, but an artificial satellite is used to revolve around theearth for scientific research, earth applications, or Military Reconnaissance.

    All artificial satellites consist of certain features in common. They includeradar for altitude measurements, sensors such as optical devices in observationsatellites, receivers and transmitters in communication satellites, and stableradio-signal sources in navigation satellites. Solar cells generate power fromthe sun , and storage batteries are used for the periods when the satellite isblocked from the sun by the Earth. These batteries in turn are recharged by thesolar cells. The Russians launched Sputnik 1 (left) on October 4, 1957, as thefirst satellite ever to be in space. The United States followed by launchingExplorer 1 on January 31, 1958. In the years that followed, more than 3,500satellites were launched by the end of 1986. A science physicist said that “Ifyou added up all the radio waved sent and received by satellites, it wouldn’tequal the energy of a snowflake hitting the ground.

    Satellites were built and tested on the ground. They were then placed into arocket and launched into space, where they were released and placed into orbit.

    The rocket would then become space junk, and the owner of the satellite wouldlose a tremendous amount of money. Now that NASA has created a space shuttle,several satellites can be launched simultaneously from the shuttle and theshuttle can then land for reuse and financial purposes. The space shuttles alsohave the capability to retrieve a satellite from orbit and bring it down toearth for repairs or destruction. Once the satellite is released from the spaceshuttle, the antenna on the satellite will receive a signal from earth that willactivate it’s rockets to move it into orbit. Once in orbit, The antenna willreceive another signal telling the satellite to erect it’s solar panels (bottom).

    Then the control center on earth will upload a program to the satellite tellingit to use it’s censors to maintain a natural orbit with earth. The satellitewill then pick a target point on earth, and stay above that point for theremainder of it’ s life. Once a satellite shuts down, the program uploaded tothe satellite will tell it to fold up it’s solar panels and remain in its orbit.

    Several days after the shut down, a space shuttle will pick up the satellite forrepairs or replacement of new cells.

    As you can see, the satellite is a very complicated piece of technology,but it’s capabilities are endless. By the end of the year 2000, there will be anestimated 7,000 satellites in orbit! That’s a satellite per 36,000 people.

    Satellites are becoming more and more useful as technology advances. Computersare turning towards the Internet, telephones are turning towards video-communication, and televisions are looking for better cable services. So aslong as satellites orbit the earth, you might as well take advantage of them now,before it’s too late.


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