Originally posted by s373r3d
Well acording to nasa there are over 900+ they keep dibs on
That does not mean there active satelites. There have been over 4000 launches however.~
What are we using them all for indeed. I can understand communication/gps. We need a lot of satellites all around the world to overcome the
curvature of the earth and be able to relay signals. But hundreds if not thousands? Well then there is satelite radio, and satellite TV, and
government crap on toast.
I took the liberty of editing out your links in my reply.
As for "What are we using them for?", you have part of the answer in your post. A lot of the satellites orbiting the Earth are inactive. Satellites
have several things that can cause them to "die"...the most common are degradation of the solar panels that power the systems, and (particularly for
reconnaissance satellites) lack of maneuvering fuel. When a satellite stops generating enough power, or can no longer adjust its orbit, it has to be
replaced, and until very recently, the old ones were left in space...sometimes staying up for years. A classic case would be Explorer I. Launched in
1958, active for 111 days, and finally re-entered in 1970.
As for the active ones, bear in mind that most applications require more than one satellite. The GPS system uses between 24 and 32. Russia has the
GLONASS system, which uses a similar number. India, China, and Japan have their own satellite navigation systems aiming for either regional or global
coverage. Between them, the various navigation systems probably account for almost 100 active satellites. Add in the various communications networks
(too many to list, frankly), meteorological satellites (again, too many to individually list), and commercial imaging satellites, and I'm actually
surprised that the number of active satellites isn't much higher than 900, just in civilian use. If you add in the military ones from various
countries, and the oddballs (like the ISS), the question isn't "what are we using them for?" but "why aren't there more of them?".
Too many secrets. Too much space junk. Too many companies not sharing the tech they have. Too much capitalism. It will be great.
There aren't as many secrets (at least about satellites) as you might think. Exact performance parameters of certain systems are *very* classified
(for good reason), but the satellites themselves are almost impossible to keep secret...the launches are obvious, and the vehicles themselves are
visible to a variety of ground-based sensors, and vulnerable to signal intercepts.
Too much space junk, I'll grant you. The biggest problem is how to clean it all up, without just creating more of it.
Could it possibly be that this so-called 'hidden' technology isn't being hidden, so much as it's 'niche' technology, and most people aren't in
the niche? Most satellites are powered by solar cells...we have those in terrestrial use right now. They use digital radio to communicate with the
ground, and with each other...we have that too (holds up cellular phone and wireless laptop). I could go on, but I think you get the idea...most of
the tech available to 'too many companies' is already being marketed to the public in one form or another, because those companies like making
Too much capitalism? I emphatically disagree with you here. We aren't doing *enough* private work in space. If you're utterly convinced that
capitalism is ruining space, feel free to stop using your cellular phone and your cable TV. Stop listening to weather forecasts, and turn off the XM
radio, the self-correcting clock, and the GPS system. I'm really curious to know how capitalism is a bad thing in this context. Perhaps you could
I can see the headlines now. The first commercial space launch destroyed by random space junk. Then ATS will be all-abuzz about secret satellites,
aliens, and the like.
What a fun world we live in...
You left out the folks who will claim that the government blew it up to keep The Big Secret, and the folks who will insist that space flight simply
isn't possible. You're also a bit late in your prediction...I don't know about anyone else, but I know that SpaceX launched a payload into Earth
orbit on a Falcon I vehicle on July 14, 2009. That was SpaceX's first commercial orbital launch, and it went just fine. There may have been others
before that one, but I didn't hear about them. Long story short, in spite of space junk, the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Reptilians, Pleadians,
Andromedans, Nibiru, the Templar Knights and the looming end of the Mayan calendar, at least one commercial launch has already gone up without