Satellite Uses Over the Years

Sam W / Physics 337 / 13 April 1997
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Since the invention of satellites, there have been many changes. These new uses have been made possible due to the channeling of ideas between organizations and countries. They have become essential to people in almost all countries around the world.

Satellites of 1960's:

During the 1960's satellite use began to flourish for the regular use of humans. In August 1960, the United States launched Echo I; this satellite reflected radio signals to Earth making satellite communication possible. Also in April in 1960, Tiros I was sent out to space. Tiros was the first weather satellite that sent pictures of clouds to Earth. The U.S. navy developed the first navigation satellite, the Transit IB navigation satellite which first orbited in April 1960. By 1965 more than 100 satellites were being placed in orbit each year.


Satellites of 1970's:

During the 1970's there was innovation in the satellite world. New and more effective satellite instruments were being used. They have made use of computers and miniature electronic technology in satellite design and construction.

Satellites of 1980's:

During the 1980's satellites were used to save people and other satellites. The first satellite salvaging operation took place in November of 1982, when the Palapa B-2 satellite was coaxed into Challenger's (another satellite) cargo hold by space walking astronauts.


Satellites of 1990's:

The uses of satellites in the 1990's rapidly grew for common, everyday tasks. For example an independent company TRW Inc. planned to create a satellite system that would dominate the satellite communications network. This system called Odessey would be used for the phone business. TRW's satellites would focus on populated areas, as it would cover the Earth uniformly. According to Coy "the company hoped to build a cost effective lucrative entry into the potentially explosive satellite phone business". These innovations have been getting better each day.



For years to come, we the people will continue to innovate throughout the 21st century. With the development going the way it is the satellite industry will be productive for years to come.



Coy, Peter. "Not So Fast Buster" Business Week. June 5, 1995: 42

"Artificial Satellite" Grolier Encyclopedia CD-ROM Grolier Electronic Publishing Inc.


Oberright, John. "Satellites" World Book Encyclopedia. 1996 Ed.

"Satellites" Science and Invention How It Works. Westport, Conneticuit: Marshall

Cavendish, 1987.