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Satellite - is the object that moves around the orbit of the other object, usually in a space. There are artificial (man-made) and natural satellites. Here, we will mostly concentrate on the artificial satellites, because with their creation human lives were changed forever.

How it started?

It is all started in 1955, when the United States of America and the Soviet Union made the beginning of satellite era publicly known. On October 4th, 1957 the first ever artificial satellite named "Sputnik 1" was thrown into space by the Soviet Union. Satellite number two -  "Sputnik 2" had a dog, named Laika on board. And, then in 1958 the United States send their two satellites "Explorer 1" and "Vanguard 1" into space. The era of advanced technology has been officially started. 

Different satellites
      According to NASA, all artificial satellites can be grouped into six types, depending on their mission:

  • Scientific satellites gather information about the activity in space, so people can analyze how things behave in space and make different predictions. Some satellites bring information about stars and other planets, some - about atmosphere and Earth behavior.
  • Weather satellites were found helpful in forecasting weather. They also help to compare past and present weather patterns in order to help people to understand weather behavior. This ability of weather satellite is very helpful when it comes to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or any other natural disaster predictions.
  • Communication satellites serve as an object that transmits signal from one place to another. According to Baltzan/Phillips textbook, a communications satellite is a microwave repeater, that brings  a repeated signal to its numerous (or sometimes just one) receivers, which gets the signal from microwave transmitter, then satellite broadens the signal and sends it back to Earth, where a big antenna serves as a receiver, spreading the signal further.
  • Navigation satellites can track and find anything on the planet Earth, carrying a receiver: a car GPS, sell phone, etc. According to NASA, there are at least three navigation satellites tracking a receiver at the same time.
  • Earth observing satellites take pictures of the Earth from different angles to see and analyze any occurring changes in our planet's behavior. These types of satellites can help to find natural resources, fresh water and locate any pollution happening on the planet Earth.
  • Military satellites include all of the above satellites, and some of them called "spy satellites".

Why satellites do not fall back to the Earth?

Satellite does not fall because of its speed and the gravity force of the Earth. My friend gave me a great example. Imagine you have a dog. You take your dog for a walk on the leash. The leash is the Earth gravity, and the dog is a satellite.If you pull the leash while the dog is standing still it will come to you. If your dog starts running and you pull the leash to keep it tight,  then the dog will have no choice but run around you and if you pull harder then dog will have to run faster not to get close to you. When the dog slows down or stops you can easily pull the leash, because it would not be tight anymore. So, satellite moves around the Earth with high speed, if something makes it stop, it will fall.

According to NASA, more than forty countries have different types of satellites in their possession and there are approximately 3,000 satellites currently guarding planet Earth.

The first satellite launching was accompanied by amazement, fear and panic, but it did start new era of space conquering. Today, satellite became a part of our every day lives: cell phones, GPS, weather forecast, etc.

"The Satellite Story"  is a short movie (59:28) created by BBC, that shows all the technological secrets of the satellite and its important role in the modern world.

"Satellite Award" is not an award for creating a satellite, it is an award from International Press Academy, for an outstanding achievement in the entertainment sphere: it goes to filmmakers, journalists, reporters, etc.