Space Environment

What is in space?

What is a satellite?

An object in an orbit is called a satellite. A satellite can be natural, like the Moon, or human (or extraterrestrial?) -made. Satellites can travel around planets or around stars such as our Sun.

(This drawing is not a scale drawing)

All the planets are satellites around the Sun. Almost every ship launched from Earth can be considered a satellite, as it is orbiting either the Earth or the Sun.

Even though a space probe is going "out" from the Earth to Jupiter, it is still in orbit around the Sun, so it is still a satellite.

What is an orbit?
What causes an orbit to happen?
How do we put a spacecraft into orbit?
Once a ship is in orbit, do we have to do anything to keep it there?

How is an ellipse different from a circle?
What is the orbital plane?
What are some kinds of orbits?

What are the orbital lengths and distances of objects in our solar system?
What could cause an orbit to fail?
How do spacecraft use an orbit to move from planet to planet?