23 Geeky Facts About Satellites That Are Pretty Exciting

1Hubble Telescope

The Hubble Telescope's mirrors are ground so precisely that if they were scaled up to be the size of Earth, the largest bump would be only 6 inches tall.


2Sputnik

The Soviet launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, was such a shocking event that at least one theater manager stopped the movie to announce it. The movie was Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and in the audience was a young Stephen King.


3PanAmSat satellite

In 1998, a satellite named PanAmSat Galaxy IV failed and it caused about 80% of the world's pagers to stop working.


4Hitomi

The Hitomi X-ray telescope exploded in space due to a software bug that caused it to compensate for a rotation it didn't have. This overcompensation caused a snowball effect which ultimately caused the satellite to spin out of control and explode.


5Orion

The largest class of satellites are the Orion spy satellite class. These giant listening devices are equipped with an umbrella-shaped sail that is estimated to be 330 feet in diameter.


6ROSAT

The ROSAT (the German Satellite that re-entered the earth’s atmosphere in 2011) failure was most likely due to a Russian Cyber Attack.


7LES1

LES1, a satellite that was abandoned in 1967, started transmitting again in 2013, after its batteries decayed and shorted the solar panels straight to the electronics.


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8Ariel 1

Ariel 1, the first British satellite launched in 1962, spent only 76 days in orbit before it was damaged by an American nuclear explosion test in space.


9LAGEOS

There is a satellite named LAGEOS orbiting Earth that is predicted to re-enter the atmosphere in 8.4 million years, carrying a message addressed to the beings/humans and civilizations of the future.


10CALIPSO satellite

The CALIPSO satellite not only measures dust concentration in the atmosphere but also specializes in scaring people in rural areas at night by blasting a 900 feet diameter beam of bright visible light on the ground for a split-second.

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