Archive for March, 2009

The satellite had become an extension to our society. It broadened our ability to communicate and our knowledge. But every invention must first start off with an idea. Satellites may only have been around for 50 years but the little steps leading up to this magnificent creation is many. The historical precedents are evidently the root of the advance technologies today.  With every little advancement, our society has been gradually growing alongside the technologies and altering our living styles.

In the historical era, the Greeks and Romans where masters at astronomy. They had no tools such as telescopes or computers. “Before tools such as the telescope were invented early study of the stars had to be conducted from the only vantage points available, namely tall buildings and high ground using the bare eye.” All they had were simply mathematics and physics and they “[mapped] the positions of the stars and planets” and were able to illustrate a simple diagram of the solar system. “Astronomers of early civilizations performed methodical observations of the night sky, and astronomical artifacts have been found from much earlier periods.” The Greeks and Romans where a great civilization that advanced quickly and was determined to understand the new world. They soon “[introduced] new [technologies] including the spectroscope and photography”. This also led to the creation of calendars but most importantly, the starting point for satellites.  This opened up the idea of space and created a new world of questions of what was out there and what space was like. With the spectroscope and photography available, the inspiration of going beyond earth and exploring the vast galaxy arise.

In the industrial era, scientist soon created the telephone. With this tool, communication improved and this was another great step towards the foundation of satellites. Being able to communicate to people far away was another improvement to society. People wanted their lives to be easier and simple, therefore coming up with the idea of the telephone. Having to communicate to someone face to face was very limiting. Now with the phone, our world began to move at a faster pace. Information can be shared faster and more effective. Facts and problems can be sent to people right away. With each advancement, many new ideas and enhancements of other technologies take place.

In modern times, the idea of communication and outer space has been collaborated together to form the proposal of satellites. The first satellite Sputnik 1 was “launched by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957.” Sputnik 1 was able to send back the density of the atmosphere. The world attention was focused on the first launch and it started “and ignited the so-called Space Race.” The Sputnik 2 was launched on November 3, 1957 with a dog. The U.S was scared that the Soviet Union would be using the satellites for spying or sending missiles during the cold war. Therefore America started on their development of satellites so they won’t be behind in technology. Explorer 1 was successfully launched on January 31, 1958. Soon after, satellites were used for long distance communications and surveillance. Using waves, we are able to communicate with people around the world. They are also able to take images. With this available to society, we began to advance and make our lives simpler.  We obtain limitless information with the internet, predict the weather, and discovering new things. With all the possibilities, none other the countries wanted to achieve the same. Society have then been proceeding quickly and shaping our world towards a new direction.

With just a start of an idea and simply technology, a technology as important as the satellite can be created. And as one thing advances, society turns its awareness towards it and finds a way to advance everything else with the help of the new technology. With this snowball effect, our world can soon create unimaginable technology and discover new things. With new and improved technology, we improve ourselves and our living styles.  And with every step, we gain confidence and set our goals a little big higher. Soon even satellites will be considered a historical technology.

Reference List

Astronomy. (2009, March 17). In Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 16, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy

Greek Astronomy. (2009, February 28). In Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 17, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_astronomy

Invention of the telephone. (2009, March 18). In Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 16, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_of_the_telephone

Launius, R. The History of Satellites. The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 17, 2009, from http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blsatellite.htm

Satellite. (2009, March 17). In Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 16, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite

Tara M. (1997 May 19). Development of Satellites, Retrieved March 16, 2009, from http://www.smgaels.org/physics/97/TMCDONOU.HTM

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