Skip to comments.How do satellites work?
Posted on 07/01/2012 9:08:55 PM PDT by POWERSBOOTHEFAN
Does anyone here have knowledge about space and how satellites work? How are they launched,kept in orbit and brought back to earth?
I'm a science geek and really curious about the universe.
How can you self-identify as a science geek and not know that rockets take them to orbit, that they remain in orbit by themselves for a long time unless the orbit is low enough to result in atmospheric drag, and that few are ever brought back to Earth (excepting manned missions) and that most will remain in orbit for hundreds or thousands of years, barring some sort of war, cataclysm, or concerted effort to collect them?
It’s not brain surgery, it is rocket science. More like rocket surgery.
Geez. Sorry I asked.
I know it’s not brain surgery. Why do you have to take a swipe at my intelligence?
Well the North Koreans do it with a commodity that is in great abundance wherever bulls congregate....
Cuz at this late date even google can't save you.
Good luck, though,
Cuz at this late date even google can't save you.
Good luck, though,
They are lofted into space aboard rockets.
They are usually solar powered and use k-band antenas is for communication.
There are 3 different orbit altitude classifications. Low Earth Orbit, Medium Earth Orbit and High Earth Orbit.
What do you think the phrase “science geek” means? (Hint: it is not someone who asks other people about the basics of rocketry, which are readily available on the Internet, even if one weren’t a “science geek” who should already know this by definition).
Perhaps instead of “I’m a science geek” you should have said, “I’m a person who is interested in science (even though that has little to do with rockets or satellites) and don’t understand how to do searches on the Internet, but would like to understand how satellites get to orbit.”
Because that’s basically what you said.
Well come on. It is a rather simple thing to study - There is an excellent, though wordy, book “SPACE” by James A Michener that has excellent simplified explanations of how astrophysics works, and how things dock and remain in orbit along with the detailed explanations of the engineering concepts involved in going to the moon and back which are rather more involved, but fascinating.
Try reading it and see if it peaks your interest as much as it did mine.
Cooks know the basic physics. Mass, velocity, all that stuff. fma equations...
But we know when to shut up.
Mostly. (for NSA types, I'm just kidding)
“How can you self-identify as a science geek and not know that rockets take them to orbit, that they remain in orbit by themselves for a long time unless the orbit is low enough to result in atmospheric drag, and that few are ever brought back to Earth (excepting manned missions) and that most will remain in orbit for hundreds or thousands of years, barring some sort of war, cataclysm, or concerted effort to collect them?”
Does that mean nobody will be able to see Obama speeches anymore?
Thanks a heap.
OK,I’m stupid. You have me pegged. I’m SO sorry I asked.
I guess I should’ve used my little old pea brain. }:-(
Shall I slap a dunce cap on my head and stand in the corner?
I haven’t taken Astronomy yet.
The satellite needs to reach about 17,000 miles an hour to reach orbit and be pointed in the right direction. My Dad designed Vanguard 1, the fourth satellite in orbit and the oldest one still there. The first six seconds of the video shows me and my brother and three sisters arranged around the Vanguard 1 a week or two before its launch (I’m wearing the red coat).
How do we know you don’t work for North Korea?
Basically an object in orbit around the Earth (for example) is constantly falling due to the force of gravity. However, the path of falling carries the object around the Earth rather than falling back onto the earth. If an object does not achieve orbit, it will follow a ballistic path back to the Earth.
I don’t know whether you’re stupid or not, but think of it as a teachable moment...
Are you ten? Every time a rocket has launched a description of how this works is done by NASA. Rockets burn fuel. IF you truly are a science ‘geek’ then you should know some physics-—the laws of which ( even Newtonian) take over. The fore generated by the fuel burning launches the rocket into motion. Gravity effects the direction of travel. If one has enough velocity to overcome the effects of gravity you achieve orbit. Go build some small rockets and learn while doing.
ah I knew there was a hidden trick to it. ;)
I lived next door to a rocket scientist for over a year. I dont know what he did at work, but I had to help him out with basic household mechanical type things all the time.
I thought satellites are kept afloat by the hot air emanating from president Oblamo?
Are you a young person? If so, as I said, consider it a teachable moment.
A “science geek” isn’t someone who asks questions like this — it’s someone who is asked questions like this. Think about it.
We’re happy to help, but no one wants to spoon feed someone else — we have better things to do with our time. It’s a big Internet out there — go do so research, read what you find, then come back with questions that web searches don’t answer, and we’ll try to help.
I’m 36 and I’m sorry I’m not as smart as you.
Thank you for not treating me like an idiot.
You don't have to take Astronomy. You can in-opportune an astronomy prof any day of the week and he'll talk until you have to fake a seizure.
There is force. It is a unit of measure.
There is mass. It is a unit of measure.
There is acceleration which is a complicated kind of unit of measure but for Newtonian cases what you see is what you get.
Force acting on a body causes it to move. It will move until another force acts on it.
Get that part and you've got most of it.
Dammit, I'm a cook not a prof.
What you’re really asking about is a field of physics called “orbital mechanics.”
I was forced to study this for one semester. Why they made a EE study orbital mechanics... I have no idea. Never used it since. Every other course where I asked at the time “Why are we studying this nonsense?” I have used.
Orbital mechanics... going on 30 years and still haven’t used it.
But rather than my trying to coach you through it, here’s a link to a guy’s page where he lays most of the issues you have out in pretty compact form. You’ll need a little background in Newtonian physics, but not much of the heavier math usually involved (integral calc, DiffEQ’s and Lagrangians) to nut your way through this stuff:
I’m not expecting a college lecture. I’m just interested in what scientists here have to say.
Is this a swipe at me? Because if it is it’s a pretty s****y thing to say. :(
Yeah... I made my snark remark and then came back and did my NCO thing.
Old habits. Cooks can only teach so much. Eventually, you have to study and learn to integrate differentials.
What I should have said is that I am fascinated with science. That’s what I meant by being a “geek”. There are science classes I have not taken so I have a lot to learn,especially about physics and astronomy.
I am not stupid but school has been a struggle for me.
There’s no reason to attack me.
I have worked on many satellite systems and many coworkers have not understood the answer to your question. Satellites are not weightless. They do not just float up in space. Satellite orbits depend on gravity, velocity, altitude and direction of the velocity. Basically satellites are moving with their velocity and falling due to the gravity. When satellites are in circular orbits the distnce travelled from velocity and from falling are equal so the satellite falls in a circle around the earth. Something in a low-velocity, low orbit will travel around the earth in just a few hours (examples are the space shuttle or space station which orbit just a few hundred miles high. At 23.5 thousand miles a circular orbit takes 24 hours. If the direction is west-to-east and the circle is above the equator then the satellite seems to be above the same spot on earth all day. This is called a geosynchronous orbit and takes a large booster rocket to get there. Orbits do not need to be east-west. They can be nrth-south or anything, really. These orbits have strange ground tracks, but low earth orbits are often used for surveilance or mapping, etc. Orbits that are not circular are elliptical. These are often polar-orbiting satellites that have the loft part of the orbit over the north pole. The gravity of the sun and moon as well as solar wind alters orbits so many satellits have means for orbit corrections. Hope this helps.
Stop gawking at the St. Louis Blues and check out Google.
And go to bed. You have to go to work tomorrow and pay for my Social Security. You do have a job, I hope.
Sorry for the sarcasm, but I really don’t understand your question. You are a good sport for hanging in there and responding however.
Thanks for the info. Sometimes I don’t get the answers I’m looking for from the Internet.
Thanks for not taking a swipe at me.
St. Louis Blues? I am a Tampa Bay Lightning fan.
Oh... you are going to get one. If you really want to learn.
I'm not a scientist, I don't play one on TV, and I don't think I've ever killed one, even accidently. I'm a cook.
But the fma equations are fairly basic to any human.
If I can make those more clear to you, call on me.
I also have recipes. Sometimes for critters you wouldn't think about eating... But I got the recipes.
I'm breathing normally now. And bleeding from where one launched.
There is a lot of theory in rocket science. Not everything is materials and technology. You can build a great engine but the rocket will flip in the air and fall on the ground if the theory is just a bit wrong. Theorists are not good at practical things. But they know what a tensor is.
ugh... orbital mechanics. that and modern physics I’ve never really used. At least relativistic physics was entertaining... OM on the other hand, should have been interesting given the lectures were from original notes from the Mercury program, but the retired McDonnell engineer instructing had all the charisma of a sheet of drywall.
This is the basis for satellite TV which is my field of occupation.
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