Satellite Facts

Satellite Facts
Satellites are manmade objects placed into orbit, also referred to as artificial satellites. Natural satellites are not manmade and include the moon. The first artificial satellite was launched in 1957 by the Soviet Union, called the Sputnik 1. More than 8,100 satellites have since been launched by over 40 different countries. In 2018 it was estimated that that 4,900 are still in orbit but only 1,900 are still operational. Satellites serve many purposes, including taking pictures, making star maps, communications, navigation, weather observation, and as space stations. Satellites are launched into orbit from a launch vehicle, or rocket which can be launched at sea, from a plane, or from land.
Interesting Satellite Facts:
Satellites move very fast, at roughly 18,000 miles an hour, which allows them to orbit the earth 14 times a day.
Satellites have better fuel efficiency than some of the smallest and most efficient cars on earth.
There are 2 satellites in orbit around the earth chasing each other. NASA has them tracking gravitational anomalies. NASA nicknamed them Tom & Jerry.
Satellites are not destroyed by meteorites because they are programmed to avoid them. Only one has been destroyed to date out of more than 8,000.
Pictures taken by high-resolution satellite imagery have identified more than 3,100 Egyptian settlements, 17 pyramids, and 1,000 tombs.
China shot down one of their satellites in 2007 while testing a missile. The debris must all be tracked now to avoid space collisions - all 2,087 pieces of it.
A satellite that was abandoned in 1967, named LES1, started transmitting again recently due to the decayed batteries shorting the solar energy straight to powering the electronics.
Originally the spy film being shot on space satellites was dropped from space in a film bucket and scooped up by airplanes midair.
A satellite orbiting the earth is expected to re-enter earth's atmosphere in 8.4 million years, carrying messages to humans of the future.
A satellite failed in 1998 and 80% of the pagers in the world stopped working.
Mayan ruins were mapped by NASA mapping satellites. They had been overgrown by the jungle and might never have been found otherwise.
Satellites used for observing distant planets and galaxies are called astronomical satellites.
Satellites designed to carry living organisms for scientific experiments are called biosatellites.
Satellites used for environmental observation and map making are called earth observation satellites.
Satellites designed to destroy warheads and other space assets are called killer satellites.
Satellites designed for military intelligence are called reconnaissance satellites.
Satellites used to monitor the weather and climate on earth are called weather satellites.
Satellites can be placed into low earth orbit, medium earth orbit, and high earth orbit.
Satellites typically have a mission length of 3 to 4 years. After this time is up the satellite will either be re-orbited, kept in its current orbit, or sent to a graveyard orbit. Most end up in the graveyard orbit.
Many countries are capable of launching satellites, including the Soviet Union, the U.S., France, Japan, China, the U.K., India, Israel, Ukraine, North and South Korea, and New Zealand.


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