Monday, July 27, 2015

How many satellites are flying above us?

Nearly six decades since launch day man first satellite into orbit, have you ever wondered how many satellites are now flying over our heads?

October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 success, the first artificial satellite into orbit of mankind on Earth. From then to now almost 6 decades, have you ever wondered how many satellites are flying above us

How many satellites are flying above us?
Currently there are approximately 1100 artificial satellites still operating in orbit around the Earth.However, you may be very surprised to know that there are more than 2600 satellites have broken down but still hovering somewhere in orbit. There are units were launched in 1958 and it is still there.How big satellites?

There are many types of satellites and their size is also very diverse. There are satellites to by a bus and weighs 6 tons. Most of the satellites have reached a weight of about a few tons.Meanwhile have a baby just like a square box next to 10 cm and weighing less than 1 kg.
PicoDragon micro satellites manufactured by National Satellite Center Vietnam
PicoDragon micro satellites manufactured by National Satellite Center Vietnam

What is their job?
As mentioned, there are many types of satellites with different uses. Some of the satellite navigation system GPS and navigation help, others are used in telecommunications satellites help transmit telephone or TV waves. Yes the weather satellites, satellites for national defense, scientific research, even for agriculture, monitoring crops and localized drought. However, up to 60% of satellites serving telecommunications.
Where are they?
The satellite communication service is fixed at a height of about 35,000 kilometers above the equator. GPS satellite system at an altitude of over 20,000 km. At this distance, we can covering large areas on the Earth. ISS International Space Station was flying above us about 400 km. Very few satellites flying at low altitude over the ISS. Some of the satellite is fixed at one point from the Earth, while others move.
Who owns the satellites?
The satellites can be of the government or private companies. There are over 70 nations own satellites owned or shared satellites between countries. The US is the leading number of satellites with more than 500 units. Russia ranked 2nd and 3rd place belongs to China.
What happens if satellites stopped working?
A scene from the movie Gravity, the universe ignited debris in the atmosphere
A scene from the film "Gravity", the cosmic debris burning in atmosphere

Old and broken satellites will become space junk. When they float freely in orbit will be in danger of collision with other satellites are operating. The dangers of space junk can be visualized in the film " Gravity ", when the debris of an old satellite causing a continuous collision. Today there are many proposals related to the cleanup of decommissioned satellites. The satellites can be pushed farther out of orbit or orbits bring them down low to the atmosphere incinerated.

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