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  1. What Is
July 11, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 12:43pm

What is a satellite?

Human curiosity explained.

By Joao Lima

A satellite is defined by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an object that moves around a larger object.

This applies to planes, moons, and other 'natural' satellites. However, when talking about satellites, most will think of the man-made objects that orbit Earth.

According to NASA, there are thousands of man-made satellites. Some take pictures of planet Earth, others take pictures of other planets, the sun and other objects.

Other satellites send TV signals, help understand the weather, send navigation signals, phone calls/telecommunication signals, etc.

The first ever satellite to be launched was named Sputnik 1 and it happened in 1957. The satellite was owner by the Soviet Union.

Since then, over 6,000 satellites have made it to space.

Today, there are about 1,000 operational satellites in space. In addition, 2,600 remain in orbit.

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Around 3,000 satellites have been left in space and are not considered space junk.

 

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