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Questions tagged [artificial-satellite]

Questions about objects in orbit which are human made, such as communications and GPS satellites, orbital observatories and space stations, and other man-made object in permanent or semi-permanent orbits around the Earth, other celestial objects, aside from the Sun, or even other satellites. Not to be confused with non-orbited man-made objects in space, that are usually referred to as "probes", or simply "spacecraft".

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What are the effects of orbital reflectors and advertising on scientific observation?

There's a couple of startups and initiatives which are proposing "space billboards" which have been getting a lot of bad press recently. Most of the proposals involve a bunch of cubesats with large ...
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Computing the local orbital frame vector directions and angles of gyroscope direction in the satellite

In the context of the study of a cubesat (little satellite), I am asked to define the local orbital frame and compute the local orbital frame vector directions as a function of time (...
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1answer
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Why are space probes and satellites not destroyed by meteor showers such as the Perseid?

What are the mechanisms used to avoid destruction of space probes and satellites during meteor showers? Are they affected by them?
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1answer
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Distribution of satellites by inclination

What is the distribution of Earth orbiting satellites by inclination? In other words, what inclinations are more or less popular? I work with Earth observation myself, where many satellites are Sun-...
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7answers
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Can an artificial satellite stay in orbit forever?

If an artificial satellite is in orbit around the Earth, it collides with dust and gas and loses a very small amount of kinetic energy to these collisions, and eventually will spiral down towards ...
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8answers
11k views

What would be the (most difficult) challenge to make a “10,000 year satellite”?

Update: Bezos' recent Tweeted update on the 10,000 year clock. Also see The Verge's Construction begins on Jeff Bezos’ $42 million 10,000-year clock The discussions associated with the question Can ...
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1answer
138 views

What is a satellite trap?

I keep hearing about satellite traps, which have something to do with receiving and transmitting satellite communications, but I can't seem to find a definition. The securityaffairs.co blogpost Hack ...
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1answer
101 views

Why satellite’s solar panel wattage is often listed in specifications?

What is the purpose of listing the power output (Wattage) from solar panel, without the energy/power specification of batteries or other electrical storage devices? Do satellites often use the power ...
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1answer
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How stationary is geostationary?

When a satellite is in geostationary orbit, it is supposed to stay above one spot of the earth and rotate around the earth at the same rate the earth spins. But how exact does that equality need to be?...
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2answers
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What are the common space application adhesives used in Earth orbiting satellites?

For quite some time, I am reading about space adhesives. Selecting the right adhesive for space applications is extremely important, mainly due to the high vacuum (around 10-8 Torr), and the variation ...
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4answers
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Info on distances to objects in space

Can a cheap telescope tell you how many miles/km away an object is that you focus on? (Via some digital readout onscreen, or perhaps via some calculating function that you can access in its computer.) ...
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2answers
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Can satellites launched from space run only on electricity?

I need to know this fast, before February. I am not skilled in astronomy, as I am only in fifth grade. Please answer with a sensible answer, and with a simple "yes" or "no" at the beginning. Thank ...
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Cis-L2 Libration Point Halo Orbit

Queqiao became the first satellite to orbit the Cis-L2 libration point (far side of the moon). Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang%27e_4 Does anyone have any insight on how to model this orbit ...
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2answers
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What is the highest non-equatorial earth orbit used?

When looking at the operational altitude of satellites, it seems that the highest one is GEO (36000km), which is an equatorial orbit. Non-equatorial orbits are less high (from LEO to 20000km for GPS). ...
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1answer
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SpaceX 2nd stage or tumbling satellite? WSW to NE over FL

Around 2040 EST We viewed an irregularly flashing object flying from WSW to NNE (roughly) from Jacksonville FL. Is the SpaceX 2nd stage still up there and if so, would it be tumbling and visible? Is ...
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1answer
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What is the most aerodynamic Satellite?

From what I understand at least in the lower orbits you want the least amount of drag possible. My brain is telling me that a long pole or submarine shape satellite orientated to the direction of ...
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5answers
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Could rockets launched from the ground use wings in the stages?

Could a slower or smaller rocket take advantage of lift if all the stages had wings? Could the stages reduce splashdown impact forces by using a spinning seedpod-like design (as shown in the image ...
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3answers
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Who/What is the international authority to assign/refuse orbit to a satellite/space-craft?

This book writes to say In 1981 the USSR requested and was allocated seven satellite slots in 24-hr orbit for Earth observations, calling the system Prognoz Whom was the request made to? Who ...
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1answer
152 views

Can I obtain the audio of president Eisenhowers message coming to me from a satellite circling in outer space?

I remember hearing a recording of this speech some time ago. However searching for it again has been difficult, which led me to believe that I probably heard a recreation from someone else. In this qz....
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1answer
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Where can I find the TLE of ExseedSat 1, India's first ever private LEO satellite?

On 3rd December 2018, a private Indian company Exseed Space launched it's first ever satellite into space called ExseedSat 1. But I couldn't find the TLE for this satellite. I looked it up on n2yo ...
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1answer
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Simulating a nanosatellite lunar flyby

I am trying to create a Lunar Flyby mission for small nanosatellites and I want to plot an orbit for it. The problem is that no website has proper information as to what variables, problems and ...
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1answer
161 views

Artificial ring around the Earth?

What pros and cons would a orbiting ring have for Earth? Is there enough satellites in orbit to form a joined ring?
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0answers
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Are 2 satellites joined better than 2 apart?

Could new satellites be designed to intercept other older functioning artificial satellites or space junk already in orbit to add weight to the new satellite in order to last longer in orbit?
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0answers
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Parasite Satellite

With computers and technology becoming lighter and is also effected by drag. Could a small satellite that lacks certain systems be designed to utilize an existing satellites systems like radio, solar ...
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1answer
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What is the origin of Black knight satellite? [closed]

Is it true that an extraterrestrial satellite orbits earth in retrograde? If the Black knight exists, can we presume that it is placed there by aliens who are technologically more advanced than ...
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4answers
5k views

Was Hubble really related to spy satellites?

Around the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, I remember comments in the media that the Hubble may be related to certain espionage satellites. The Hubble was designed and built around the time that ...
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2answers
644 views

The Orbital Mass Accelerator Engine Theory

Can 2 satellites equal in weight traveling on the same orbital path in the opposite directions intersect and propel each other to gain altitude in orbit? Can orbital perturbation be negated during ...
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0answers
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Apply forces such that a satellite reaches a given point in space

I'd like to find out a strategy for solving the following simplified problem. A small spherical craft at $t=0$ has a position and velocity vectors $\mathbf{x_0}, \mathbf{v_0}$ in a zero gravity ...
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1answer
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Satellites around outer planets that act like amplifier to signals from voyager like objects

One issue of deep space exploration is that once the object (like Voyager) is far out in the solar system the physical distance is so great that the signal reaching Earth is very weak. I was wondering ...
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1answer
3k views

Why are the blueprints of old satellites still not available to public?

There are old, now mostly useless blueprints of old satellites, (or rockets, or pieces of software, or engineer's notes, e.t.c) but they are still closed to public. Why? Can it harm the Space Agency ...
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1answer
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Is the Towed Glider Air-Launch System's glider now also a rocket?

In an answer to a previous question, I learned about the game-changing nature of Towed Glider Air-Launch System technology. While the glider in the Towed Glider Air-Launch System (here, here, and ...
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1answer
52 views

Which orbit around Earth has the least perturbation?

Which orbit around Earth would have the least amount of perturbation from the moon, Sun etc.? Does an orbit exist where in either direction of travel that the perturbation would be the same? The ...
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0answers
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What's next for Planetary Resources?

The company Planetary Resources had great success with their Arkyd-6 mission earlier this year and were recently purchased by a ConsenSys. I'm wondering if they have published any plans about future ...
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2answers
192 views

Is there an end-of-life policy for Martian satellites?

When a terrestrial satellite nears the end of its useful life, it is often de-orbited to burn up in the atmosphere or sent up into a graveyard orbit. This is done to prevent the satellite from being ...
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2answers
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how and why is image processing used on spacecrafts?

Electronics engineer here trying to dive into aviation and aerospace engineering. I was wondering which (advanced) image processing techniques are being used in satellites nowadays. And which purposes ...
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0answers
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What would be the equivalent camera performance specification of Earth-imaging satellites, compared to consumer DLSRs?

In order to better understand what Earth imaging cameras are like (as seen in Google Earth) from the point of view of a photographer, I've asked the following. Consumer-grade cameras like DSLRs, ...
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0answers
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How close will the cubesats be when numerous of them are launched simultaneously?

Checking the onboard video of PSLV C43 gives a feel like the CubeSats are released in very proximity. Does this mean that these CubeSats will be orbiting in such very close proximity through out ...
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2answers
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Could a satellite in LEO “pump” or change mass distribution to gain forward momentum?

Similar to pumping your feet on a child's swing can a satellite run up and down a pole to produce a forward momentum? Red dots is the satellite's position running up and down the pole on an ...
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1answer
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Does Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter require “reprogramming” when handling communications for newer spacecraft or landers?

While I was going through the question What happens to Insight's parachute? I learned of the role of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to provide reliable communication between other Mars spacecraft and/...
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2answers
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Why was MarCO-B CubeSats flying away after InSight landed?

Farewell to Mars November 26, 2018 MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) away during its flyby of ...
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3answers
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What will become of the two cubesats deployed as part of the Insight mission?

So as part of the Insight mission, two Cubesats were also launched to relay data during landing (so data can be obtained if something goes wrong) What becomes of these satellites once their primary ...
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2answers
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Why meteorological images have missing lines in the center?

I noticed strange blank line in the middle of completely valid images from VIIRS. . This looks like an error in the reception. Would have go unnoticed, unless the same blank line in the middle of ...
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2answers
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How much fuel to maintain VLEO for communication satelites?

A recent answer about communication satellites in VLEO (≤350 km) estimates a useful orbital life of about month without fuel. I.e. Once the vehicle is out of fuel to maintain orbit, THEN it has ...
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2answers
329 views

How would a satellite powered by RTG be terminated?

How will a satellite powered by RTG be terminated at the end of its life? Is there any set of rules to be followed? What's the general procedure?
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2answers
139 views

LAGEOS 1's time capsule's positioning in the sattelite

LAGEOS 1 is one of the two LAGEOS (LAzer GEOdynamics Sattelite) sattelites designed to study the movement of continents with minute precision using reflected light from hundreds of reflectors on its ...
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1answer
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How are solar panels protected from the Sun?

In 2003, JAXA sent a probe, Hayabusa, to an asteroid named Itokawa. On the way to the asteroid, there was a large solar flare which damaged the probe's solar cells. I've been searching through the ...
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4answers
6k views

Is it possible to track an object as small as the Tesla Roadster around the Solar System

I have heard that we will soon lose track of the Tesla Roadster launched with the Falcon Heavy test launch. Yet, we know where Voyager is out beyond the Solar System and we followed other satellites ...
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Distributed computational power-sharing and orbital supercomputer

I had an interesting conversation last night with a nanosatellite engineer about how much computational power is required in a nanosatellite constellation and if it's necessary. I had an idea or a ...
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1answer
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Why the PRN obtained from Android is different from calculated by TLE

I want to use TLE data to calculate the azimuth and elevation of every GPS satellites at user's location. In order to verify the correctness of TLE calculation, I wrote an Android app that can be ...
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3answers
3k views