Satellite- Meaning, components, its flip side, and the latest invention in this field.

March 2021


Sputnik is the first-ever satellite launched into space by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, to place a radio transmitter in its orbit. The goal was simple back then concerning communication satellites, to beam signals into space and get it back in some other place on the globe. Technology has taken a giant step forward, and now, Satellites take pictures of the earth, space, or any specific planet that help meteorologists to study deeper about space. They collect data with more accuracy than collected from the ground level.


What is a Satellite?


The term satellite is generally referred to as any machine that is launched into space and revolves around the earth or any space object for some specific purposes. However, there are natural satellites that are revolving around their respective space objects. The Moon and the Earth are some examples of natural satellites as they revolve around space objects. Man-made satellites are intentionally put into space by scientists to carry out various jobs that are assigned to them. For example, they have been utilized to receive TV signals and transmit them to various parts of the earth, make Phone calls, GPS, monitor earth atmospheric conditions, and whatnot.


Satellites- the latest invention to gauge fuel:


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has made an effort to pin down the quantity of fuel required for a satellite. Gauging fuel accurately in space has been an issue since fluid behaviour in space does not help measure it. The gauge's idea is to recreate the fuel's 3d shape and use that design. The satellite operators are provided with reliable information, ensuring the satellite stays operational for a longer period and avoids collision.


Satellites- Mechanism, types, and its components:


Satellites are made in different shapes and sizes. However, they comprise four parts in common. A Power system like solar panels to power the satellite. A way to control the altitude, An Antenna to transmit and receive signals. Additionally, they carry cameras and sensors to gather information from their surroundings.


Satellites revolve around the earth or other objects as their speed are balanced with the gravitational force. Without which, it would fly into space or fall off. Hugely satellites are utilized for communication and media purposes; they have been named communication satellites.


Common types of satellites are Navigation satellites, weather satellites, space telescopes satellites, communication satellites, and military satellites. Apart from these, space stations and human spacecraft are also satellites. They do not crash into each other's path as they are carefully placed in their path or orbit. However, the probability of collision increases as the number of satellites increases in space.


Talking about the orbits, they are about 6 types of satellite orbits, among which Geostationary orbit and polar orbits are common. A satellite placed on geostationary orbit lets it sense one spot on earth continuously. In contrast, satellites placed on polar orbits allow one to observe earth as the satellite would pass above both poles of the body.


Space junk- the flip side of satellites


Space junk is otherwise known as space debris found in space, usually dead satellites that have lost their path or ran out of fuel, or just too old to function any further. There are about 60% of dead satellites found in space. About 129 million pieces are zooming around our planet so fast. This can be a problem as they would hit active satellites and damage them. Scientists and researchers are finding ways to reduce space junk by efficiently de-orbiting the satellites after their job is done. Space junk can be a problem as it would sometimes collide and create even more mess.

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