Satellites History

For years, Newton and many other scientists before he had wondered what kept the moon and planets in orbit. Newton's work in this area, led not only to an understanding of gravity which is the attraction of bodies toward the center of the earth, but to theories on how an artificial satellite might be sent into orbit. The first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was finally launched in the year 1957, but only with the use of Newton's theories.

Sir Isaac Newton was born on December 25, 1642 in Woolsthorpe, England in the same year that Galileo died. Newton, an English mathematician and physicist, was one of the greatest and most influential scientists in history. His accomplishments in optics, mathematics and physics have laid the foundations for modern science and revolutionized the entire world.

Legend has it that Sir Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell and hit him on the head causing him to come up with the idea of gravity. Actually the apple missed him and made a soft thud on the ground, but that was enough to attract Newton's attention. The apple's fall triggered the important realization that a force, gravity, attracts all bodies in the universe to each other, pulling apples to the ground and holding the Moon and the planets in their orbits. In 1729, about two years after his death, a book containing Newton's theories was published. In it, Newton showed how an artificial satellite could be launched from the earth. He pictured the earth with a high mountain and a cannon on top of the mountain firing shots parallel to the ground. Each time the cannon was fired, more gunpowder was used and the shot went farther before striking the ground. Because the earth is round, the shots curved around it. According to Newton's theory, with enough gunpowder, a shot could eventually go fast enough to circle the earth completely and come back to the mountain top.

The Soviet Scientists

The Soviets were responsible for putting Newton's theory into practice. They did this by using a powerful rocket to raise a satellite high above the earth and put it in an orbit parallel to the ground at a high speed. Back then scientists knew very little about the region of outer space. The orbit of Sputnik 1 helped scientists to learn about the density of the atmosphere. Although Sputnik 1 only proved Newton's idea, it was responsible for beginning the space race. Since then many satellites have been launched and they have increased scientific knowledge and improved communications.

Kinetics and Force

To understand how satellites are launched, let's take a look at how force and kinetics work. A force is just a push or a pull, it can either twist something out of shape such as a spring, or accelerate (speed up) an object. Kinetics, is the description of motion without relation to what causes the motion. Velocity is defined as the distance traveled divided by the time interval.

Newton's Three laws

Newton's first law of motion states that an object remains at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. Therefore without any forces acting on it a satellite launched into motion would continue to travel at constant velocity. Newton's second law states that an unbalanced force acting on an object causes an acceleration, this law is represented by the equation F = ma. Newton's third law of motion states that an object experiences a force because it is interacting with some other object.

Because of Newton's theories and the Soviets who applied them artificial satellites are now in common use. These satellites have vastly increased our knowledge of the earth, the sun, the planets and the universe.

The theoretical possibilities of a satellite started about, 300 years before the satellite was developed. There are three men who envisioned the possibility of a satellite. These men are the early dreamers. Sir Isaac Newton, Konstan Edvardovich Tsiolkovsky, and Edward Everett Hale each in their own way helped in the creation of the satellite.

Sir Isaac Newton

The theoretical possibility of establishing an artificial satellite of earth had been mentioned in 1687 by an English mathematician, Sir Isaac Newton. This came about because of his work on the theory of gravitation. Newton wondered about space travel and knew that the moon orbited the earth in a circular pattern. He wondered why it didn't trail off into space. Newton saw an apple fall, and he realized the force pulling the apple to the ground also reaches into space. He also realized that gravity held the moon in orbit. That force is gravity, all objects have gravity. This can be said about satellites, " Despite appearances, satellites do not really defy gravity. They are in fact falling toward the earth all the time, just like the apple Sir Isaac Newton watched fall and which led to the discovery of the law of gravity". The only real key difference between the apple and the satellite is that the satellite is moving much faster and at a greater height. This must mean that as the satellite falls towards earth, the earth's surface curves away from it, so the satellite never gets closer. If an apple is thrown towards the horizon, the apple still falls, but it follows a curved path. Newton felt if the apple was thrown at a great enough speed the downward curve of the apple's path as it falls will match the curve of the earth's surface. If the apple is always and the earth's surface is always curving underneath at the same rate, the result is that the apple never gets closer to the surface of the earth. The apple is in orbit. Newton demonstrated how an artificial satellite could be launched above earth. "He pictured the earth with a high mountain. A canon on top of the mountain fired shots parallel to the ground. Each time the canon was fired, more gun powder was used and the shot went farther before striking the ground". Since the earth is round shots curved around it. Newton's theory stated that shot could in fact go so fast, it could circle the earth and could come back to the mountain top. Newton showed that the force pushing the canon shot outward was also balanced by gravity's inward pull. This was used later in proving that a shot could circle earth.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Decades ahead of his time, Konstantin forecasted many features of modern astronautics. Including satellites. Konstantin was a visionary Russian theorist and wrote about space travel. He was deaf from a childhood illness, called Scarlet fever. He taught himself and became a high school math teacher. As early as 1883 he was writing articles on space flight. He wrote science fiction accounts on space adventure, in which he accurately described artificial satellites. Some of these works include on the moon dreams of the earth and the sky and beyond the earth. Early in the twentieth century pioneers experimented with rockets, as means to get into space. Konstantin designed a multi stage rocket. In 1896 he explored the possibility of interplanetary travel by rockets. In one of his works he set forth his theory of motion of rockets, established the possibilities of space travel by means of rockets, and the fundamental flight formulas he came up with. The theoretical work of Konstantin confirmed that a satellite might be launched by means of a rocket. In the mid 1920's his works on rocket engineering and space flight won international recognition.

Edward Everett Hale

Edward Everett Hale is believed by some to be the first to propose the idea for satellites. He was an American clergyman and also a writer. In one of his books, The Brick Moon, other stories published in 1899, he proposed the idea of an artificial satellite.

Importance of The Early Dreamers

The early dreamers of satellites were an intricate part in the development of the artificial satellite. With ideas of Hale and the first satellite, along with the discovery of gravity by Newton, and the ideas for propelling the satellite with a rocket by Konstantin they all led to the development of an artificial satellite.

In the mid-1950s, the desire to learn more about space led to the development of satellites. A satellite is a man-made object put into orbit around a larger body. Scientists, astronomers, and others were eager to learn about the new space environment, and hopefully make breakthroughs in communications, weather, and manned space flight.

First International Satellite Plans

The United States and Russia were the first two nations to draw plans for an artificial satellite. In 1955, the United States and Russia publicly announced their proposals concerning the construction of satellites. Within two years, Russia accomplished their goal, and the United States followed closely behind.

Sputnik 1

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to bring the Space Age to life. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1. Its official Russian name was Iskustvennyi Sputnik Zemli, or "Fellow Traveler of the Earth." Sputnik 1 was launched by Russia's Old Number Seven rocket at Baikonur Cosmodrome. The once secret cosmodrome is what makes Russia lead the rest of the world in launching men and machines into space month after month. Sputnik 1 was described as "a silver-zinc battery and a radio transmitter in a 23 inch polished aluminum ball". The satellite was also pressurized with nitrogen circulated by a cooling fan. Two eight-feet and two ten-feet radio antenna whips were secured to the outside of the satellite to transmit radio signals. "For three weeks, as it twirled around the world every 96 minutes in a globe-girdling orbit 588 miles above our heads, Sputnik beep-beeped its visionary message of a future above the ocean of air". After 92 days, Sputnik 1 burned as it fell from orbit into the atmosphere January 4, 1958.

Explorer 1

Explorer 1 was the first satellite launched by the United states. On January 31, 1958 the United States of America's Jupiter-C rocket launched Explorer 1 at Cape Canaveral. The Army was responsible for the preparation of Explorer 1. The army was asked by Washington officials to try to send a satellite to orbit because they were worried about losing prestige. Four months after Russia orbited Sputnik 1 the United States entered the space race as well.

International Satellite Builders

Many other nations in Asia and Europe soon joined the race in space by launching satellites. "The majority of satellites have been built by Russia and the United States, but the countries of Western Europe in the European Space Agency, Japan, China, India, Canada, Israel, Brazil and others are actively engaged in satellite development". France's Diamont rocket launched its first satellite Asterix 1 in Algeria on November 26, 1965. On February 11, 1970 Japan's Lambda 4S-5 rocket launched its first satellite Ohsumi from Kagoshima. China's Long March-1 rocket soon followed launching its first satellite Mao 1 from Inner Mongolia on April 24, 1970. A year and a half later on October 28, Britain's Black Arrow rocket launched its first satellite Black Knight 1 from Woomera Australia. Europe's rocket Ariane launched its first satellite CAT from Kourou in French Guiana on December 24, 1979. Rohini 1, the first satellite made by India, was launched from Sriharikota Island on July 18,1980. Israel_s Shavit rocket fired its first satellite Horizon 1 from Negev Desert on September 19,1988. Iraq followed a year later when it launched Rocket 3rd Stage from Al-Anbar on December 5.

The first satellites led the way to most of our knowledge concerning space today. Because of the success of many of the first satellites, extensive research could be done about the Solar System using the pictures and information retrieved by the satellites. Since 1957, more than 4100 satellites have successfully been launched. With all the technology created day after day, our knowledge of space has become very sophisticated and will continue to grow.

An artificial satellite's orbit is the path it traces out around the Earth or a particular heavenly body. Once a rocket or shuttle has carried a satellite to its determined altitude, it is then put in an orbit. When a satellite is in orbit, it is circling the earth at the correct speed, so that the satellite does not immediately fall back into the earth's atmosphere. Generally, the orbits of artificial satellites are elliptical, however other types of orbits are used.

Sputnik 1

The earliest artificial satellite had an elliptical orbit. On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched the very first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. Sergei Korolev designed it in such a way that the satellite rolled as it orbited the earth in an egg shape. Its orbit was low which allowed Sputnik to get as close to the earth's surface as 142 miles (228 km.) and as far from it as 589 miles (947 km.). Sputnik 1 was able to complete a single orbit in 96 minutes and 17 seconds. The success of Sputnik was a great accomplishment for the Soviet Union. It is because of this success that the United States quickly attempted to launch their first artificial satellite.

The Soviet Union Launches a Second Satellite

Unfortunately before the United States could successfully launch the Explorer 1 the Soviet Union had launched their second satellite, Sputnik 2. The United States' failure to launch a satellite was embarrassing since Russia already had two orbiting the earth. Sputnik 2 is known for its development in satellite technology. It was on November 3, 1957 that Sputnik 2 carried a female dog named Lakia ("barker") into orbit. Lakia was the first living creature to orbit the Earth. Sputnik 2's orbit pattern was elliptical, similar to that of the first Sputnik.

The Explorer 1

Finally after several failed attempts to launch a satellite the United States received their first break. On January 31, 1958, about four months after Sputnik 1 was launched, Explorer 1 was successfully put into orbit Explorer1 was developed by a team of scientists at the University of Iowa under the direction of Professor James Van Allen. Explorer's design was pencil-shaped, which allowed it to spin like a bullet as it orbited. The spinning helped the satellite maintain stability in its orbit. Explorer was able to reach 529 miles (2,460 km) and was able to descend to about 224 miles (360 km). Explorer's elliptical orbit decayed in 1967. After Explorer 1 the United States continued their technological developments and launched a series of Explorers.

Most artificial satellites orbit the Earth in an elliptical, or egg-shaped patter. The earliest satellites also shared this characteristic. Even at a time when satellites were very experimental, scientists took a major step when they discovered that a elliptical orbit would prevent satellites from crashing back into the earth's surface.

The idea of satellites first surfaced in the mid 1950's. The Soviet Union and the United States were the first to come up with plans for satellites and their launchings. In the beginning satellites might not have been very complex but it was only the beginning.

The First Satellites

Plans to begin launching the first satellites began in the mid 1950's. In 1955, both the United States and the Soviet Union announced their plans to launch artificial satellites. On October 4,1957, Sputnik 1 was launched by the Soviet Union. It circled the earth once every 96 minutes and transmitted radio signals received on earth. On November 3,1957, Sputnik 2 was launched. This time carrying a dog named Laika, which was the first animal in space. On Jan. 31,1958, the U.S. launched their first satellite, Explorer 1.

Different Types of Satellites

There are many different kinds of satellites that are used everyday. One type of satellite is weather satellites. Tiros 1 was the first weather satellite which was launched on April 1,1960. Tiros 1 sent pictures of clouds to the earth. Another kind of satellite is a navigation satellite. This satellite was first developed by the U.S. Navy. It was called Transit 1B, and it first orbited in April of 1960. The U.S. launched Echo 1, the first communication satellite. Echo 1 reflected signals back to Earth.

The Usage of Satellites in the 60's, 70's, and 90's

The usage of satellites in the 1960's differs greatly from the 1970's and 1990's. As of 1965, 100 satellites were placed in orbit each year. In the 1970's satellite usage expanded from the usage in the 60's. Scientists created new and more effective satellite instruments. Computers and miniature electronic technology in satellite design and construction was used. Many nations along with private businesses began to purchase and operate satellites. In the 1990's satellites became more popular and more necessary. By the early 90's more than 20 countries owned and operated their own satellites, and 2,000 satellites were operating in orbit.

History , Types and Usage of Satellites

From the beginning of satellites to the present time, satellites have greatly advanced. More satellites are produced and operated everyday. They are basically a necessity. Satellites have come a long way since 1955. Satellites are more advanced and there is a large number of different types of satellites. As of now satellites are used greatly and will continue to be used in large numbers and will continue to be produced.

Throughout history satellites have moved from having no special capabilities to being able to explore other worlds. This has led to new technologies, to improve and better our society because of the discoveries, The outline of all the things that have occurred are listed below. Beginning from the first launched and going all the way to the more modern ones.

1950' S

On October 4, 1957 Sputnik 1 was launched, it was the first man made object to orbit the earth. It was named Sputnik Zemli or traveling companion of the world by the Soviet Union. Soon after on January 31, 1958 the US launched its first satellite called Explorer 1. Over the next few years many improvements were made in satellite technology.

October 4,1957 Sputnik 1 launched- USSR
November 3,1957 Sputnik 2 launched- USSR
January 31, 1958 Explorer 1 launched- USA
March 5,1958 Explorer 2 launched- USA
March 17,1958 Vanguard 1 launched
May 15,1958 Sputnik 3 launched-USSR
October 11,1958 Pioneer 1 launched- USA
January 2,1959 Luna 1 launched-USA
March 3,1959 Pioneer 4 launched-USA
September 12,1959 Luna 2 launched- USSR
October 4,1959 Luna 3 launched-USSR

1960' S

During the 1960's improvements in satellites continued. The first men were launched for both the US in Mercury Freedom 7 and for the USSR in Vostrok 1. Great developments continued in space such as exploring other planets and sending signals across the ocean.

April 1,1960 Trios 1 weather satellite launched- US
August 18,1960 Discovery XIV spy satellite launched- US
April 1,1961 Vostrok 1 carrying first man in space- USSR
May 5,1961 Mercury Freedom 7 first US man in space- US
August 6,1961 Vostrok 2 first 5 day flight- USSR
July 10,1962 Telstar 1 completed first transatlantic telecast- US
December 16, 1962 Mariner 2 flies past Venus into solar orbit- US
July 31,1964 Ranger 7 takes first close range photos of moon- US
March 24,1965 Ranger 9 transmits first live moon photos- US
July 14,1965 Mariner 4 returns first close range images of Mars- US
November 16,1965 Venus 3 first craft to impact Venus- USSR
February 3,1966 Luna 9 first to soft land on the moon- USSR
March, 1966 Surveyor 1 first US soft land on moon- US
August 14, 1966 Lunar Orbiter 1 returns first pictures of earth- US
September 15, 1968 Zoned 5 orbits moon and returns- USSR
July 31, 1969 Mariner 6 returns images of Martian surface equatorial region
August 5, 1969 Mariner 7 returns images of Martian surface southern hemisphere

1970' S

The study of other planets through the use of satellites continued and they were used more often to map the other planets in our solar system. The satellites were used mainly to find out the conditions on the other planets and to try to find life on other planets mainly, Venus and Mars.

September 12,1970 Luna 16 returns lunar oil samples- USSR
November 17,1970 Luna 17 first automatic robot on moon travels 11 days- USSR
December 15,1970 Venera 7 first to soft land on Venus- USSR
May 30, 1971 Mariner 9 first mars survey from orbit- US
November 13, 1971 Mariner 9 maps 100% of Martian surface
March 2, 1972 Pioneer 10 designed to familiarize alien life with humans, returns close ups of Jupiter 1973- US
April 5, 1973 Pioneer 11 discovers new rings around Saturn- US
November 3, 1973 Mariner 10 returns photos of Venus and Mercury- US
May 17, 1974 SMS-1 Synchronous Meteorological Satellite- US
October, 1975 Venera 9 and 10 return photos of Venus and mercury surface- USSR
July 20,1976 Viking 1 pictures of Martian surface- US
September 3, 1976 Viking 2 lands on Mars plain of Utopia discovers water frost
August- September 1977 Voyagers 1 and 2 leave earth for Jupiter and Saturn


Throughout the 1980's the exploration of our galaxy continued and stretched into the belief of their being others planets like earth. Numerous photos continued being returned and the technology pushed satellites into new dimensions.

June 19, 1981 third Ariane rocket launched by the European Space Agency
December 20, 1981 fourth arien rocket launched by ESA
October 10, 1983 Venera 15 returns first photos of Venus polar region- USSR
January- November, 1983 Inferred Astronomical satellite discovers new comets, asteroids, galaxies and a dusting around the star vega that may be new planets
December, 1984 Vega 1 and 2 launched, drops probes into Venus's atmosphere- Soviet/ international
January 8, 1985 Skigate launched by Japan's institute space and aeronautical science first to rendezvous with Haley's comet
July 2, 1985 Giotto launched by ESA from an Ariane rocket, encounters both Haley's comet and comet P/Grigs-Skjellerup
July 12, 1989 Phobous 2 orbits Mars studying atmosphere and magnetic field- Soviet/ international
October 18, 1989 Galileo launched from shuttle Atlantis took pictures of Venus and asteroid Ida then continues to Jupiter- US


So far through the 1990's satellites continue being improved. Yet space ships seem to be improving faster and taking over what these satellites have accomplished so far.

August, 1990 Magellan arrives at Venus and takes radar images of the surface- US
February 8, 1992 Ulysses flies around Jupiter and heads towards the sun
January 24, 1994 Clemintine performs lunar mapping mission- US
October 12, 1994 NASA launches first in a series of discovery series of spacecraft the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous [NEAR] space craft aboard a Delta 11-7925-8 rocket

Over the last 40 years satellites have come a long way. The changes in technology have brought new ideas on what can be accomplished in future space exploration. The future still looks great for satellite function and exploration.

The term satellite refers essentially to one thing a small body, natural or artificial, that revolves around a larger astronomical object. Data gathered from these satellites help promote an awareness of the environment, the world, and the universe. The new technologies developed from these satellites have additional applications that benefit life on Earth.

Satellites During the Cold War

Satellites were used as spies during the Cold War to photograph the activities of the Soviet Union and China. These photographs can be used to study desertification, urbanization, and other environmental changes. They can also help scientists spot many surface features from space.

Many once-super secret Cold War spy satellite photographs began to be released under an executive order by President Clinton. The pictures were collected by the first generation of photo-reconnaissance satellites from their advent in August 1960 through May 1972. This is when more advanced systems took over. Included in the photographs was the image of the Corona series of spy satellites a shot of a military airfield in northeastern Russia. The reconnaissance pictures, taken regularly to monitor arms developments and produce maps, will help establish a baseline in the 1960s for measuring changes, such as global warming, desertification, and forest shrinkage.

First Early Communications Satellites

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created in October 1958 and took control of space activities. It is exploring ways to provide frequent flight opportunities for inexpensive space missions. NASA hopes to continue learning about the balance of life on our planet. NASA, though, has confined itself to experiments with "mirror" or "passive" communications satellites, while the Department of Defense was responsible for "repeater" or "active" satellites, which amplify signals, that they receive, at the satellite. In 1960, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to launch an experimental communications satellite. Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) was formed in 1962 as a result of the Communications Satellite Act and was in the process of contracting to build a system of dozens of medium-orbit satellites. Other companies that provide service to the United States include GE Americom, Alascom, GTE, and Hughes Communications.

Satellites are put to a wide variety of uses. Applications range from scientific research to military reconnaissance. The first satellites were used to study the Earth's upper atmosphere and inner space. Today, scientific satellites study a far greater range of objects. The major application of artificial satellites has been to provide long-distance communication links. Telephone companies, cable television stations, newspapers, and magazines use communications satellites to transmit data to various parts of the globe. Meteorological satellites use highly sensitive instruments for modern weather forecasting. Navigation satellites use laser-beam signals to determine the exact location of a ship on Earth. The technique used by navigation satellites are also used to make accurate maps of remote areas of the Earth. Countries use military surveillance or spy satellites to monitor the activity of other nations.

Important Satellites

Several well-known satellites were used to experiment the cutting-edge of satellite technologies. In 1962, AT&T launched Telestar I. This satellite transmitted phone calls and photos between Europe and America. Telestar was the first satellite to transmit black-and-white color between two continents. It was capable of 600 telephone channels or one television channel. In 1963, Telestar 2 was launched and established the first direct link between Japan and Europe.

Echo, a silvery balloon that orbited Earth every 114 minutes, was launched August 12, 1960 by NASA. It was a passive satellite that reflected radio signals back to Earth. Echo 2 was launched January 1964.

Relay I was NASA's first active experimental satellite and was launched December 13, 1962. It handled simultaneous two-way telephone conversations or one television channel. It provided the first satellite communication link between North and South America and Europe. Relay 2, an improved version, was launched in January 1964.

The Syncoms were three experimental active satellites. Syncom I was launched February 14, 1963, but did not reach synchronous orbit and communications failed. Syncom II was launched July 26, 1963. It was the first satellite placed in synchronous orbit. Syncom III was launched August 19, 1964. It was the first stationary Earth satellite. In orbit near the International Date Line, it was used to telecast the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo to the United States. It was the first television program to cross the Pacific.

A French satellite, SPOT, helped illustrate the damage caused by the explosion of the former Soviet Union's nuclear reaction in Chernobyl.

Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) was the first series of meteorological satellites to carry television cameras to photograph the Earth's cloud cover and demonstrate the value of using spacecraft for meteorological forecasting. The first TIROS was launched in 1960. It returned data that showed a large degree of organization within the cloud cover over the Earth.

Nimbus 1, a meteorological satellite, had a one-month life span. It tracked the storm pattern of Hurricane Cleo and helped prevent severe damage. Nimbus 7 operated from 1978 to 1993. It played a major role in the study of the global ozone and the "ozone hole" over the Atlantic Ocean.

Present Satellites

Satellites today have improved tremendously since the first satellite and are continuing to rapidly progress into the future. Around the world, satellites put people and their computers on the information super highway. They are used in our everyday lives and will continue to improve life on Earth.

Since the invention of satellites, there have been many changes. These new uses have been made possible due to the channeling of ideas between organizations and countries. They have become essential to people in almost all countries around the world.

Satellites of 1960's:

During the 1960's satellite use began to flourish for the regular use of humans. In August 1960, the United States launched Echo I; this satellite reflected radio signals to Earth making satellite communication possible. Also in April in 1960, Tiros I was sent out to space. Tiros was the first weather satellite that sent pictures of clouds to Earth. The U.S. navy developed the first navigation satellite, the Transit IB navigation satellite which first orbited in April 1960. By 1965 more than 100 satellites were being placed in orbit each year.

Satellites of 1970's:

During the 1970's there was innovation in the satellite world. New and more effective satellite instruments were being used. They have made use of computers and miniature electronic technology in satellite design and construction.

Satellites of 1980's:

During the 1980's satellites were used to save people and other satellites. The first satellite salvaging operation took place in November of 1982, when the Palapa B-2 satellite was coaxed into Challenger's (another satellite) cargo hold by space walking astronauts.

Satellites of 1990's:

The uses of satellites in the 1990's rapidly grew for common, everyday tasks. For example an independent company TRW Inc. planned to create a satellite system that would dominate the satellite communications network. This system called Odessey would be used for the phone business. TRW's satellites would focus on populated areas, as it would cover the Earth uniformly. According to Coy "the company hoped to build a cost effective lucrative entry into the potentially explosive satellite phone business". These innovations have been getting better each day.

For years to come, we the people will continue to innovate throughout the 21st century. With the development going the way it is the satellite industry will be productive for years to come.

In the history of the world no other invention has revolutionized science as much as the satellite. As early as 1687 "The theoretical possibility of establishing an artificial satellite of the earth has been mentioned by the English mathematician Isaac Newton as a consequence of his work on the theory of gravitation". Since that time the work of scientists all around the world has added to what we now know as the satellite.

Early Work On Artificial Satellites

Early on in the 20th century the work of Americans Robert Goddard and Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky paved the way for the future launchings of satellites. The theoretical work of Tsiolkovsky was on the actual possibility of launching this object into the upper regions of the atmosphere known as space. Taking this information Goddard did actual experimentation on how to launch such an object. It was the tedious leg work that these two men did that provided an enormous stimulus for what happened next. One October day in 1954 "The Committee for the International geophysical year (IGY) recommended to member countries that they consider launching small satellite Vehicles for scientific exploration". The US and the USSR both announced plans to launch such satellites later on that year. It was this beginning work that produced the first launch of an artificial satellite.

Launch Of The First Satellite

One autumn day in 1957 the launch of an 84 kg. ball revolutionized science. This ball was named Sputnik 1. It was launched on October 4,1957. This ball circled the earth in 1 hr. 36.2 min. at 28,800 km/h . It sent back strong continuous radio signals that were so strong that they could be picked up by amateurs. The US counterpart was named Explorer 1, it was launched on January 31, 1958. These two satellites provided an enormous boost for satellites to follow.

Satellites That Followed

After that first launch many other satellites were sent into orbit which paved the way for major discoveries.

1. Sputnik 3
2. Cosmos 1
3. Cosmos 51
4. Cosmos 166
5. Explorer 1
6. Explorer 42 (Uhuru)

These satellites made many great discoveries that have impacted on every part of our life.

Uses of Satellites

From navigation to high tech espionage the satellite has proved tremendously useful in their applications on everyday life. Since that first satellite that only sent back radio signals we now have satellites that accomplish a broad range of tasks. We now have satellites that support governments, give us high quality picture and sound on our televisions, ensure us faster beeps and better clarity on our cellphones. Ever since that autumn day in 1957 the satellite has advanced time and time again so that now it plays such an integral part of our everyday lives I do not know how we could get along without it. How different our lives would be today without the vision of those that came before us. Important Discoveries Made By Satellites

From discovering the Van Allen radiation belts to the discoveries of x-rays in outerspace the satellite has had a major impact on our everyday life. The first discovery that a satellite made was by Explorer1 in 1958. It was the first satellite to discover the Van Allen radiation belts that circled the earth. The next great discovery was the mapping of the x-rays of the universe. Explorer42 was the first to discover the source now called Cygnus x1. For the Russians the whole Cosmos series was devoted to discovering and mapping cosmic and ultraviolet sources within the universe. The work of these two countries stimulated the launch of satellites from such countries as; Canada, China, India , and Japan. Thanks to all of these discoveries the satellite has become an accepted part of everyday life.

In conclusion all of the groundwork that paved the way to the first launch made an impact on society as a whole that no other invention has done before. From communications to espionage to navigation to weather , this invention has shaped the way in which the world now lives. It is now an accepted part of everyday life. It is now seen as a useful tool which can be used to keep in touch and aid everyday life decisions. I conclude that no invention in history has helped humankind on such a large basis as the satellite.

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