FA Project

Satellite imaging.

Eyes in the Sky
A satellite is an artificial body that is placed in orbit around the earth, moon or another planet to collect information or for communication.  There are two forms of satellites, natural and man-made.  A natural satellite such as the Earth which rotates around the sun, and the moon which rotates around the Earth. A man-made is a machine that is launched into space, such as the International space station.  The first man made satellite was Sputnik which was a Russian space beach ball sized probe that was launched in October of 1957. Sputnik weighed 184 pounds, which was a lot smaller compared to the original plans. The Soviet space officials initially planned for it to be about 3,000 pounds, but quickly discovered that was too large for the first one since they were still unaware of the mysteries of space and what was going to happen. When launched Sputnik was only equipped with a radio, and no scientific technology. But scientists still learned a few things about the atmosphere by listening to the beeps from the radio.  The launch of Sputnik changed the world, jump started the space age and the Cold War. A Few months later, the Soviets launched a second satellite but this time they sent a dog named Laika into space. Laika was the first life form to ever go to space, but unfortunately didn’t make it back. The United States quickly acted on their satellite, upset with the fact that Russia did it first. The U.S. launched a preflight of Apollo 1 in January 1967, but unfortunately a fire ignited, and three astronauts lost their lives. That was not their last attempt though, NASA sent up 12 Apollo spacecrafts, each time correcting issues and getting closer to landing on the moon. You can recall the quote from astronaut Neil Armstrong, “That’s one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind”, as he takes his first steps on the moon. This was such an amazing accomplishment for not only the United States but the whole world. It opened the opportunity to learn so much more about the universe. Satellites have evolved so much since their first launch in 1957.  Not only have the satellites themselves changed, but their picture and what they can now do and see has changed dramatically.  The International Space Station for instance, is now a complicated machine, with advanced technology and it is triple the size of the very first one, Sputnik.
Satellites have had an impact on how we see the world and have helped to make many discoveries about Earth and Space. Satellites have shaped our perspective of visualizing the Earth. The images taken from space not only show the Earth from above and all things in space like planets, galaxies, and stars.  They also have had an impact in changing our ways of circulating the image through which we understand our lives. Not only do satellites give us the ability to obtain images of the world, but also aide us in communication, security, and provide us with internet and television. Since the 1960s satellites have been used for television purposes. Networks were about to cover the stories on the war and other important events. Just look how far it has come, could you imagine the world without television, not only would be miss out on the happenings in Hollywood, but the news and weather services are so crucial to our everyday life.
Similar to the way we can see the world, we have the means and technology to take images of our internal bodies. We can use x-ray to see a broken bone, and an MRI to see our organs. Sonograms are used to see the fetus in the womb, among other things. When expecting a baby, mothers visit the doctor for a sonogram many times during the nine months of pregnancy. Sonograms or ultrasounds use sound waves to look in the uterus at the fetus. The sound waves bounce off of the tissue and bones to form an image of the baby. Sonograms capture not only a picture but also size, heartbeat, digestive functions, and means of a healthy pregnancy.  Sonograms are critical to pregnancy because they take an inside look to see how the baby is developing and functioning, and can show abnormalities and even detect some disabilities and potential or existing health conditions. Research has shown that a mother who gets a sonogram is less likely to get an abortion because after looking at their baby they feel more attached to it. This idea is similar to the way we can look at Earth from the satellite images in the sky. From a satellite we can see weather conditions, land formations and changes, sea levels, and even pollution. Therefore, a satellite is just like a sonogram, and with that we can make address situations and make changes when something is not quite right. We only get one Earth and one chance to make it great, we have the technology to help and we should utilize it.

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