Saturday, May 28, 2011

Artificial Satellites

In the context of space flight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon.
Satellites are used for a large number of purposes. Common types include military and civilian Earth observation satellites, communications satellites, navigation satellites, weather satellites, and research satellites. Space stations and human spacecraft in orbit are also satellites. Satellite orbits vary greatly, depending on the purpose of the satellite, and are classified in a number of ways. Well-known (overlapping) classes include low Earth orbit, polar orbit and geostationary orbit.

History's first artificial satellite, the Sputnik 1, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. Since then, thousands of satellites have been launched into orbit around the Earth.
Sputnik 1 helped to identify the density of high atmospheric layers through measur
ement of its orbital change and provided data on radio-signal distribution in the ionosphere. The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1's success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the so-called Space Race within the Cold War.Sputnik 2 was launched on November 3, 1957 and carried the first living passenger into orbit, a dog named Laika.

Satellites are not only used to tell us about space, the Earth or weather, they are very important in the field of communication. Thanks to them we have access to Internet, radio and even television. Also mobile phones need to use satellites.
Modern communications satellites use a variety of orbits including geostationary orbits, Molniya orbits, other elliptical orbits and low (polar and non-polar) Earth orbits.

Finally, if you want to know more things about communication satellites, follow this link:

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