Satellite Hardware: Stow-and-Go for Space Travel
Man-made satellites have to fit a lot into a compact package. Protected inside a rocket while blasted through the atmosphere, a satellite is launched into Earth orbit, or beyond, to continue its unmanned mission alone. It uses gyroscopes, altitude thrusters, and magnets to regulate sun exposure and stay pointed in the right direction. Once stable, the satellite depends on solar panels to recharge its internal batteries, mirrors, and lenses for data capture, and antennas for communication back to Earth. Whether it is a bread-loaf-sized nano, or the school bus sized Hubble Telescope, every satellite is susceptible to static electricity buildup from solar wind, the very cold temperatures the Earth's shadow (or deep space), and tiny asteroids along the route.
© 2012 ASM International. Published: May 2012.
Published - Pellegrino2012p18399Adv_Mater_Process.pdf