Communication Satellites Essay
Have you ever thought about how that little phone in your hand works? What about how you always seem to have internet and cable access? A satellite is a device put into orbit around Earth that uses receivers, amplifiers, and transmitters to receive and send signals around the globe (“Communications Satellite Aug. 2007”). Satellites provide the signals to these and more devices. Satellites orbit Earth and provide global communications, as well as collect valuable data. Many countries and companies currently compete for the valuable orbits for satellites. Individuals and countries alike have pushed themselves and each other to improve their space technology by testing and using new and innovative ideas.
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One of the most important people involved in the development of rocket flight was a “…British scientist and science fiction writer named Arthur C. Clarke. He was the first person to introduce the concept of communication satellites in 1945” (“Communications Satellite Aug. 2007”). In October 1945, Clarke published an article describing a method of communications in which “…manned satellites would distribute global communications through a relay service” (Marsden 515). His idea was different than most at the time because instead of a traditional satellite, Clarke proposed a space station (“Communications Satellite Industry”). Clarke envisioned that these stations would orbit around the equator in a geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above Earth’s surface. Future scientists would name this orbit the Clarke Belt (“Communications Satellite Aug. 2007”). Although Clarke fought for satellites using geosynchronous orbits, many satellites did not use these orbits; original satellites had a low orbit and constantly moved out of and back into range of their ground station. Because of this, these early satellites could only be in contact with ground stations for a few hours every day. It wasn’t until two decades after Clarke published his