COMMUNICATION IN OUTER SPACE 10
Communicationin Outer Space
Communicationin Outer Space
Theouter space is a new frontier and a shared domain of humanity thathas elicited interest related to exploration of space throughapplication of space technologies for the benefit of humankind.Communication from outer space has helped enrich our daily life. Suchcommunication helps us to monitor the space and the related effectson the earth (World Economic Forum, 2015). There are many benefits ofspace exploration, for instance, space-based mitigation of naturaldisasters, telemedicine, orbital debris mitigation, and monitoringnear-Earth objects.
Thereare many space-related technologies including satellites, telescopes,international space station, space crafts which help facilitatecommunication between Earth and the outer space. Nonetheless,stakeholders need to ensure ethical and peaceful usage of the space.Such uses like spaces arms race lead to friction among the differentstakeholders with interest in space exploration. This work will seekto discuss the types, functions, and importance of the differentspace technologies in enhancing communication while man operates inthe outer space and investigates the celestial bodies and the solarsystem to improve the standards of life on earth.
TheHubble Space Telescope (HST)
Thetelescope was introduced into orbit in 1990 by the space shuttleDiscovery. The Hubble usually orbits the earth from a distance of 340miles. Additionally, it travels nearly five miles per secondbesides, the HST is solar-powered. The Hubble is used to take sharppictures of galaxies, stars, planets, among other planetary objects(NASA, n.d). The over one million observations have communicatedvital information like galaxies located billion of light years,death, and the birth of stars, comets crashing, among otherfunctions. The information collected has helped shape the manner inwhich scientist analyzes the universe. Hence, scientists have beenable to convert such astronomical conjectures into tangiblecertainties.
Additionally,the HST led to the debunking of theories and myths, conceptualizationof new theories, and educating future astronomers. The majordiscoveries revealed from the Hubble include determination of theuniverse age which is estimated to be thirteen to fourteen billionyears. Additionally, it led to the exploration of dark energy thataccelerates the universe expansion (NASA, n.d). The Hubble has beenefficient in the analysis of galaxies and discovery of protoplanetarydisks, gamma-ray bursts, and clumps of dust and gas around youngstars.These discoveries have contributed greatly towards expandingresearch, practice, and education in astronomy. The Hubble data hasalso led to the publishing of over 10,000 scientific peer-reviewedarticles meant to fill the knowledge gap. The HST is regarded as adirect solution towards analysis of the atmosphere.
Voyager1 and Voyager 2
Anotherimportant space exploration technology that enhances communication inthe outer space is the Voyager 1. The Voyager 1 has a communicationsystem meant to communicate with the earth beyond the confines of ourSolar System while making its exceedingly extensive flights duringmany of its space probes (NASA, 2015). For instance, the Voyager 1and 2 are fitted with a parabolic dish high-gain antenna measuring3.7 meters in diameter. The dishes send and receive radio wavesthrough the Earth-based Deep Space Network (DSN). Despite operatingmany miles from the earth, the space crafts can explore the universeas far as where solar winds meet the interstellar winds. Human-madeobjects have never explored such areas. The information sent on earthhas been valuable as humans strive to understand the universe (NASA,2015).
TheInternational Space Station (ISS)
TheISS refers to the large spacecraft that orbits around the globe. TheISS is traveling at 17,500 mph and orbits the earth at an altitude oftwenty miles. Many cosmonauts and astronauts crews live at ISS, andit has an advanced science laboratory. The astronomers live and workin space (NASA, 2013). The many lessons learned through long-termexploration of space done at the ISS will ultimately enable us tosend humans far into space very shortly. The ISS has six advancedlaboratories hence it acts as a space-based research facility toadvance science, technology, and medicine. For instance, the studieswere done in hyper- and microgravity will allow researchers toexcellently comprehend its impacts on human as well as provideperspectives on how the human body functions. Additionally, usingspace environment to grow protein crystals helps scientists advancesuperior treatments for many diseases that do not have cure currently(NASA, 2013). Furthermore, the ISS labs facilitate innovative spaceresearch projects to enhance human understanding of the universe aswell as the earth’s environment.
TheISS acts as a gateway to new frontiers in the exploration of thespace. The space station allows humans to learn to live and working“off planet.” Additionally, the ISS allows humans to investigatethe long-term impacts of weightlessness on our body among anothertest to prepare astronauts for assignments to Mars and deep space(NASA, 2015). The ISS also supports important studies on radiationenvironment, combustion, life support systems, and fluids.
Thesatellite works continuously 24 hours each day to ensurecommunication around the world is sustained. NASA, other private andpublic organizations, launches satellites to space each year. Afterthe satellites become geosynchronous, it usually orbits the earth andbegins working (Rao,2013).The satellites usually transmit signals to the ground station atransponder receives the signals from space then interprets anddistributes the messages. The message can be carried for telephone,surveillance, navigation, television, or data services (WorldEconomic Forum, 2015). Additionally, different organizations likeNASA have launched different missions to reach the interstellarspace, moon exploration, sun-observing IRIS mission, Voyagermissions, and planet explorers using space crafts, as well as SETIand extra-terrestrial life investigation. The important discoverieshave helped us understand the universe or the outer space
Satellitesare man-made objects which are launched into the orbit for a specificreason. They make a great impact on human life from space especiallymaking humans safe, broadcasting information, and offering modernconveniences. They help facilitate communication between the spaceand the earth. The satellites help enhance communication,surveillance, astronomy, and oceanography. The perceptive views allowscientist to analyze different objects both on earth and in the space(Rao,2013).
Thesatellites are used to transmit TV signals to support the network andcable network television. The signals are usually from a centralstation that produces programming to other smaller stations thattransmit the signals locally through airwave or cables. In-flightphone communication is supported by satellites and they the majorchannel of voice communication and pagers.
Satellite-basednavigation systems have been used to facilitate communication andtransport. A good example is the GPS or Navstar Global PositioningSystems which allows any person with a handheld receiver establishestheir correct position on the ground. The GP locators are used intracking and facilitate navigation on land, sea, and air.
Thesatellites facilitate communication in business especially forcompanies with a global geographic reach. The companies can performinventory management, video conferencing, automated teller banking(ATM) services, and direct credit card authorization while consumerspurchases globally.
Satelliteshelp meteorologists to forecast the weather on a global scaleaccurately. The meteorologists can predict storms, hurricanes,typhoons, and ice. Additionally, geologists can monitor tsunami, ElNiño, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes to minimize damage.
Climateand Environmental Monitoring
Furthermore,the satellites operating from space providing vital information anddata that helps monitor climate change, ocean temperature, andincreasing sea levels. Additionally, imaging satellites help monitorglaciers from space given the remote conditions on the ground or inthe Polar Regions. Additionally, they facilitate analysis of icecover to determine how they are receding (Rao,2013).
Thedifferent earth observation satellites help track airborne pollutionoils spills, forest fires, as well as the effects of wind and oceancurrents. Such information helps in policy making initiatives, aswell as search and rescue missions.
Furthermore,the satellites help to detect mineral resources and undergroundwater tracking the transfer of contaminants and nutrients from landto waterways. Besides, the satellite communication helps to monitorocean pollution, measuring temperatures, and soil erosion.
Besides,the satellites have supported technological developments ineducation, agriculture, and telemedicine to enable access the remoteareas in the world. Countries can also use satellites to monitorrefugee migration
Astrophysicistswere limited in their exploration of the outer space since theground-based telescopes were ineffective. Nonetheless, the satellitetelescopes have been effective allowing us to understand suchphenomena like black holes and pulsars as well as estimating the ageof the universe. The satellites have also allowed a man to exploreall the planets in our solar system (Rao,2013).
Thereare many spy or surveillance satellites fitted with infrared andradar detectors to collect intelligence regarding that guide militaryactivities, for instance, monitoring missile launching or nuclearactivities to deter such vices and promote peace (Soffar,2015).The military can also use satellites to for ocean surveillanceespecially monitoring enemy submarines and ships.
AstronomicalSatellites are used fixed on deep space probes, or Earth-orbitingsatellites provide a clear view of the space without interferencefrom the earth’s atmosphere. The satellites are fixed detectorswhich capture electromagnetic radiation which have very shortwavelengths as compared to visible light (Soffar,2015).The ultraviolet based satellites are used for deeper space basessince it uses high and low spectral lines to evaluate solarradiations. The X-ray satellites are used in the analysis of X-rayemission from the stars.
Theentry of humans into the outer space has opened up great prospects.We must appreciate the shared interest of all mankind in theadvancement of the exploration for the development of humankind. Thesatellites among other technologies in the outer space are veryintegral part of daily human life. They perform many tasks withoutmany people knowing. Advancement is technology has also led to theintroduction of state-of-the-art equipment being launched into theouter space. The equipment help facilitates communication to allowhuman to continuously explore the universe, understand the impact ofthe space objects on earth, among other astronomical functions.
NASA(2013). What Is the International Space Station? Retrieved from
Thearticle explains in provides detail information about theInternational Space Station (ISS) especially the how it is anexceptional blend of diversified and unified goals among the world’sspace agencies that will ultimately improve life on Earth for the allnations as well as people.
NASA(2015). Voyager to the Outer Planets and Into Interstellar Space.Retrieved from https://goo.gl/6n12QJ
Thearticle describes the twin Voyagers 1 and 2 owned by NASA. They werelaunched in 1977 in Florida. They are meant to perform close-upinvestigation of the Saturn and Jupiter, Saturn’s ring, as well asthe bigger moons of the planet. After 37 years of service, they haveexamined four planets Voyager 1 is presently speeding via the spacebetween stars.
NASA(n.d). Hubble: The Overview of the Space Telescope. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/34iv9Y
Thearticle provides a general overview of the Hubble Space Telescopeincluding its functions and design.
Rao,K. R. (2013). SatelliteCommunication: Concepts and Applications.PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.
Thebook highlights the need to give prominence some aspects of satelliteand space communication. The resource provides basic concepts andassists readers to design satellite links.
Soffar,H. (2015). What are the importance and uses of Satellites in ourlife? Retrieved from https://goo.gl/sZqbFk
Theonline resource highlights the several importance and uses of thesatellites being launched into space to perform specific functions.
WorldEconomic Forum (2015). Bringing Space Down to Earth. Retrieved from
Thereport focuses on the important role played by the space in ensuringthe world is more prosperous, secure, and safe.