What is a satellite?

Science for Youth May 27, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

A man-made satellite is a machine that is launched into space. It orbits or moves around Earth or another body in space. There are thousands of satellites that orbit Earth. Some of these satellites take pictures of Earth to help meteorologists predict weather and track hurricanes. Other satellites take pictures of other planets, the sun, and other galaxies that are far away.  

Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are used for communication. All satellites are operated by the United States Air Force. At any given time 24 satellites are orbiting Earth for GPS. Each of these satellites circle the planet two times each day, providing continuous coverage. So what happens if one of the satellites stops working? The Air Force has backups in in place to take over. GPS never turns off! 

Learn more about satellites by visiting:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) website

Check out these videos of satellites being launched into space

 

What is the difference between GPS and GIS?

 

 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.