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Satellite communication is becoming bigger and better, and I wanted to find out more.

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    $\begingroup$ I think your questions are interesting & you'll enjoy and make good use of this site once you put a little more work into your question posts. I see that you were advised to post this question separately and followed through, which is great! But maybe you can edit this question and narrow it down to a single answerable question, and consider writing new, separate, carefully written question posts for each of the other parts. Welcome to Space! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 19, 2020 at 0:46
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    $\begingroup$ Nice edit, retracting close vote. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2020 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ Voting to leave open in light of the edit. It is an interesting question now. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2020 at 6:29

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The cheapest communications satellite, at least in terms of the cost of the satellite itself, was almost certainly Echo 1. I don't have a dollar figure, but the sheer simplicity of the design is hard to beat: it was a 30-meter Mylar balloon that reflected high-frequency radio waves.

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