Artificial satellites are objects intentionally placed into orbit, such as space stations and human spacecraft. The weather updates we receive, the knowledge we acquire of other celestial bodies in the universe, are all possible due to satellites.  An artificial satellite is a human-built object orbiting the Earth, the moon and other heavenly bodies in the solar system. During the first decade of space exploration, all the artificial satellites were launched from the United States. According to reports, there are more than 4 dozen satellites in use or under construction throughout the World.

The International Space Station

The International Space Station is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS is a modular structure, whose first component was launched in 1998 and is expected to remain in operation until at least 2020. It consists of pressurized modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components. The ISS travels around the Earth at an average speed of 27,700 km/hr and completes 16 orbits per day.

International Space Station orbiting Earth.
International Space Station orbiting Earth.

Various Types of Satellites

Communication Satellites:  Communication satellites are artificial satellites are used for the purpose of telecommunication. Moreover, they are used for mobile applications such as planes, handheld terminals, TV, radio, and more.

Weather Satellites:  Weather satellites are used primarily to monitor the weather and climate of planet Earth.  These environmental satellites can detect changes in ocean color, effects of pollution, boundaries of ocean currents, Earth’s vegetation, and much more detailed information.

Research Satellites:  Research satellites measure fundamental properties of magnetic fields, micrometeorites, and properties of heavenly bodies that are impossible to observe from the Earth.

Navigation Satellites:  Navigation satellites were primarily developed to satisfy the need for the navigational systems. Nuclear submarines could use these satellites to update their internal navigation system. In modern times, they are used for a number of military purposes, including infrared sensors that track missile launches.

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