When you have two bodies orbiting each other (For example, the Earth and the Moon), we call the smaller of the two the Satellite of the larger. Thus the planets are satellites of the Sun, the Moon is a satellite of Earth, and so on. But when most people talk about satellites, they are referring to artificial satellites. These are manufactured objects which have been launched into space and carefully maneuvered into orbit around something much more massive like a planet or the Sun. Most artificial satellites are used as communications relays, transporting signals from one spot on the Earth to another, but others are used for reconnaissance (Spy satellites), surveying, research, or navigation.
Written by Allen Versfeld
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