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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Military Satellite (overview)

-Military satellite-

Satellites were top-secret devices, used primarily in a military capacity, for activities such as navigation and espionage. Now they are an essential part of our daily lives. We see and recognize their use in weather reports, satellite television and everyday telephone calls. A satellite is basically any object that revolves around a planet in a circular or elliptical path. The moon is Earth's original, natural satellite, and there are many man made satellites, usually much closer to Earth.
There was a time when half of all the scientists in the world were employed for the army or the governments. The satellite fleet orbiting the Earth was doing exactly what it does today. As we know, Military Satellite is only for selected clients where it used for military purposes with the six mission categories are communication, navigation, geodesy, nuclear test detection, surveillance, and research and technology.  

All of these types of satellites have a metal or composite frame and body, usually known as the bus. The bus holds everything together in space and provides enough strength to survive the launch. They all have a source of power such as batteries and solar cells. All satellites have an onboard computer to control and monitor the different systems and a radio system and antenna to send and receive signals and instructions. They all have an attitude control system that keeps the satellite pointed in the right direction. 

A satellite launch can cost anywhere between $50 million (RM156 million) and $400 million (RM1.2billion).  A shuttle mission pushes toward $500 million (RM 1.55 billion). Building a satellite, getting it into orbit and then maintaining it from the ground control facility is a major financial ordeal. ($= US dollars)

Who is in this satellite race game?

Today there are 898 satellites 'officially' orbiting the Earth. The United States has almost as much as the rest of the world combined (439). Following the lead, you have the usual suspects: Russia, in second place, has a modest 87 satellites. Not surprisingly, China, 45; Japan, 37, the UK, 21; India, 19 (and already a lunar mission); Germany, 15. France is in position 10, with 'only' 10 satellites. This leaves the real 'rest of the world,' with 198 satellites. [source:]

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