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A satellite is any object that orbits or revolves around another object For example the Moon is a satellite of Earth and Earth is a satellite of the Sun The payload is all the equipment a satellite needs to do its job This can include antennas cameras radar and electronics The payload is different for every satellite For example the payload for a weather satellite includes cameras to take pictures of cloud formations while the payload for a communications satellite includes large antennas to transmit TV or telephone signals to Earth The bus is the part of the satellite that carries the payload and all its equipment into space It holds all the satellites parts together and provides electrical power computers and propulsion to the spacecraft The bus also contains equipment that allows the satellite to communicate with Earth Communications satellites act as relay stations in space People use them to bounce messages from one part of the world to another These messages can be telephone calls TV pictures or even Internet connections like the one youre using now Communications satellites are in geosynchronous orbit from geo Earth synchronous moving at the same rate That means that the satellite always stays over one spot on Earth The area on Earth that it can see is called the satellites footprint Here is one footprint that covers all of Africa A person in Africa can use this satellite to communicate with anyone else in Africa We can also use satellites as a relay system to send signals anywhere on Earth Here you can see the overlapping footprints of four different satellites If you wanted to send a signal from Africa to Southeast Asia you could bounce or relay the signal using more than one satellite A satellite is a complex machine All satellites are made up of several sub-systems that work together as one large system to help the satellite achieve its mission Command and
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