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A space satellite is a vehicle that is launched into orbit around Earth or another body in space. Satellites are used for many purposes, including communications, navigation, weather forecasting, television, and mapping. Most satellites are launched into orbit by rockets. Once in orbit, satellites can be controlled by ground stations. They communicate with the ground station using radio waves. The ground station sends commands to the satellite, and the satellite sends back information about its position, orbit, and health. Satellites are launched into different types of orbits.
The most common orbit is the low Earth orbit, which is between 160 and 2,000 kilometers above Earth’s surface. Satellites in low Earth orbit move very fast, so they can be used for imaging and other applications that require frequent updates. Other orbits include geostationary orbit, which is 35,786 kilometers above the equator, and polar orbit, which passes over the North and South Poles.
Satellites in geostationary orbit appear to be stationary in the sky, making them ideal for communications applications. Polar orbits are often used for Earth-observation satellites. Satellites are built to withstand the harsh environment of space. They are usually made of materials such as aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. Satellites must be able to withstand extreme temperatures, high levels of radiation, and the vacuum of space.
Why Are We Using Them?
Satellites are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, navigation, weather forecasting, television, and mapping. Communications satellites are used to relay signals for television, radio, and telephone applications. These signals are sent from the ground station to the satellite and then back down to Earth. Navigation satellites are used for GPS and other applications. GPS satellites transmit signals that can be received by GPS receivers on the ground, which then calculate the location of the user. Weather satellites are used to collect data about Earth’s weather patterns. This data is used to make weather forecasts. Television satellites are used to relay signals for television applications. These signals are sent from the ground station to the satellite and then back down to Earth. Mapping satellites are used to collect data about Earth’s surface. This data is used to create maps.
Space satellites are typically in orbit for a few years before they need to be replaced. When they reach the end of their lifespan, they are deorbited and burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.