Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

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Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Yogi » 06 Sep 2014, 18:45

[ img ]

Here is a photograph of every satellite out there orbiting our planet. Awesome :o
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 06 Sep 2014, 19:11

Wow - that's amazing. I knew there were a few up there, but ....!!!

Imagine if several of them came crashing down to earth at once though. That pic gives me the shudders even though the technology's clever and useful.

What I'd like to know though, is that NASA're looking towards satellites that can convert solar energy into microwaves and send a constant stream of them beaming back to earth. Wouldn't that be ... dangerous?
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby pilvikki » 07 Sep 2014, 09:52


erm... do we really need ALL of them up there? and how many of them are no longer functional?
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Kellemora » 07 Sep 2014, 10:48

In order to launch a space mission, every single one of them, including the space debris we left up there, must be accounted for to prevent a deadly collision with one too.

All the low-orbit satellites are the biggest threat. Meteors knock a few of them off-course which causes them to collide with other satellites. Sometimes this bump pushes them out into space and they keep going. Sometimes they break up, adding to the space debris problem, and several do fall back, burning up.
From what I understand, many of the newer low-orbit satellites do have a self-destruct system, to make the parts small enough to burn up, but some parts are blown in all directions, so may be more harmful.

It is an amazing photo rendition of what is out there!

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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 07 Sep 2014, 17:28

It is, but I have visions of collisions!
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Kellemora » 08 Sep 2014, 09:33

I know of a couple of old ones still up there, because they belonged to the Ham Radio community.
I forget the actual numbers now, but it had an estimated useful lifetime when launched.
By carefully monitoring and controlling its usage, we extended its lifetime something like three or four times its expected lifespan. Because of this, there was no problem sending up another one for us. Trouble was, the government opened up a couple of channels on it we had no control over, and they burned the thing out in less than one-fourth its expected lifespan.

Our current Hamsat VO52 finally died in July of this year. We called him OSCAR52 to honor the companies who sponsored it for us.
FOX-1C will be launched sometime in 2015, after we can amass around 125,000 dollars in donations to cover the costs involved.
Since I've not been on the air much for over a decade now, I have not kept to abreast of what's going on, and had to look it up.

A rocket launched on June 19, 2014 carried 37 satellites. One of these was Fun-Cube-1 (AO-73) which has a couple of bands for Ham use. But that's all I know, since I don't follow the news on these events anymore.

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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 08 Sep 2014, 14:26

I can't understand why there're so many satellites in orbit! Why can't a simple few do the job, considering they can beam for good distances, and make ones which burn up automatically after so long? It'd make things a lot safer, surely?
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Kellemora » 09 Sep 2014, 10:10

Don't know Icey. Most of them are no bigger than a shoebox, and will burn up if they fall.
Seems like if they were big monster size, they wouldn't burn up as they fell.
Although many are on different orbits, most are low orbit geosynchronous communications satellites, which means they stay in the same place all the time.
Our Ham satellites, and many international communications satellites are high orbit and not geosynchronous, so we only have windows of opportunity to use it as it passes over.
Many satellites work together, beaming signals from one to another, so we have instant worldwide communications.

I remember when I had to make overseas phone calls via copper cables in the ocean. It took like 7 to 10 seconds after someone said hello before you heard it and could respond. Without the overseas operators telling the individual you were calling about the delay, many would hang up, thinking no one was at the other end, or it was a prank call.
Those cables were not abandoned and many are still in use today, just not for voice messages since we have faster means of communication. Such as Fiber Optic cables laid next to the old undersea copper cables.
Until the Sharks eat the casings off, or trawlers break them, they will use them as long as possible for slower communications usages.

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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 09 Sep 2014, 14:00

Read this!

There are some pretty large pieces of space debris floating around - so much so that NASA's concerned about craft taking off. : (

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... Earth.html
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Kellemora » 10 Sep 2014, 11:45

Amazing, all the junk up there!

Although it has been several decades since I was in skewl, I'm beginning to think they may have taught us wrong about gravity and orbits.

If I read this article right, it gave an example of a rocket that blew up, and it's cloud of debris is hovering in orbit.
From what I learned in skewl, this would be an impossibility!
My point is: In an explosion, debris flies in all directions.

In order for an item to remain in orbit, it has to be going at the exact speed and direction to maintain it in orbit.
If it's speed decreases, it will fall out of orbit, and gravity will pull it toward earth, at increasingly faster speeds until it burns up or hits the earth.
If it's speed increases, it will fly out of orbit, and I assume either drift out into space, or perhaps reach the orbit level above earth where it's speed will hold it in a new orbit.
I guess it is possible that if the speed decreases, it could find a new orbit lower than the first orbit, but this goes against what we were taught in skewl about how to achieve and maintain orbit. Anything outside of those parameters would mean an object could not maintain orbit.

Besides this article, and other things I've read more recently. It appears what they taught us in skewl was erroneous, like most of the things we are taught.
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 10 Sep 2014, 14:44

Not necessarily Gary. I suppose that gravity plays its part eventually.
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Kellemora » 11 Sep 2014, 10:22

Well I went and did a quick study on this topic.
Orbital Decay affects all bodies in the heavens, and especially our satellites.
It is more pronounced on lower orbit satellites, but normally not noticeable enough to be of concern during the normal usage lifetime of the satellite.
Larger satellites are given a boost from time to time to maintain their elevation.
When they are replaced, they are given a reverse boost to slow them down, causing them to change elevation so not to be in the way of new satellites operating at the normal elevation.

Even in space, there is atmospheric drag, and other forces that cause orbital decay.

You also mentioned why not one big satellite vs all the smaller ones.
Large satellites must be visited and given a boost to keep them in orbit, and refuel their booster rockets, and expensive undertaking.
The smaller a satellite, the less atmospheric drag or tidal affect it experiences, so the slower the rate of decay.

Along these same lines, one article I stumbled across had to do with "Geostationary Satellites Are Not Stationary." It went on to explain they lose elevation a calculable and fractional distance with each revolution of the earth. Because they remain in the same vertical plane from earth, the decreasing elevation does not affect the communications capabilities, however, station dishes at steep angles may have to adjust back to center every few years.

Space debris is of minor consequence to objects already in orbit. Think of it like cars on a highway, each in their own lane. However, to a launch rocket or manned rocket, it's like crossing several heavily congested highways and getting onto the main highway during rush hour with a very short exit ramp. You can't sit at a stop sign waiting for break to cross the road, you have to time everything perfectly so when you cross the highway it is between the passing cars, and it is getting worse and more heavily congested up their each year.

A new method of launching satellites has been used now for several years. Rather than trying to shoot directly to the desired elevation, launch rockets are placed in orbit at the earliest possible safe orbit. Then like changing lanes on a highway, they slowly merge to higher elevations until they reach the desired elevation for deploying their cargo.

The article didn't say what happens to the rocket itself, so it's probably left up there also, in orbit, as more and more space debris accumulates.

What goes up, must come down. Although the time frame for it to do so might just be longer than our own.

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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 11 Sep 2014, 15:34

It horrifies me. A lot of that stuff WILL come down eventually. It might not be in our lifetimes, but some poor souls're going to reap the costs of past stupidity. Just a fraction of this space junk could beam all round the world and do their jobs. The rest ought to be removed, by targeting them with lasers or something, so that there's no more clutter.
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Kellemora » 12 Sep 2014, 11:46

You mean change them from being a single bullet, to more like a large cloud of shotgun pellets?
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 12 Sep 2014, 14:47

Looks like we HAVE a large cloud - an extremely large cloud - of shotgun pellets already. No - target them and zap them into nothingness. Then they'd be rendered harmless?
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby pilvikki » 12 Sep 2014, 15:32

Orbital Decay affects all bodies in the heavens


and some of us down here, too.

so, would it not make sense to start weeding them out now, before they block the sun?
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 12 Sep 2014, 16:35

Another reason to get rid of the old stuff. Who the heck allowed so many to be put up there in the first place??
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Kellemora » 13 Sep 2014, 12:23

I don't think any single country has the powers necessary to claim they own outer space.
To own something means you have the ability to defend it against predators.

Russia put Luna2 on the Moon in 1959. They can claim to be the first TO the Moon. Albeit, it crashed on the Moon. Luna9 made a soft landing on the Moon in 1966.
USA didn't get there until they put a Man on the Moon until 1969. So USA can claim first Man on the Moon.

So, who owns the Moon?
a) The first one there. Russia.
b) The first one to step foot on the Moon. USA.
c) The one able to defend the Moon against all predators. Nobody Yet.
d) Leave the Moon as International Open to all visitors. Like International Waters.

Unscrupulous people will destroy everything they can.
They dump garbage in International Waters, and let those countries who's shores it washes up on worry about cleaning up their mess.
Same holds true for outer space! Let those who are bothered by the garbage clean it up.
Welcome to mankind!

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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby pilvikki » 13 Sep 2014, 15:33


we are a pretty dysfunctional family alright. "it's not my job, you do it!" "make me!"
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Re: Every Single Satellite Orbiting The Earth

Postby Ice.Maiden » 13 Sep 2014, 16:48

The stupidity seems to come from those who create all these wonderful things. They design, test and produce them, but don't give a thought to clearing up afterwards - and this isn't just things which're thrown into space. Again, intelligent fools.
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