We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Satellites?

Jessica Ellis
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Satellites are a manmade construction which are launched into orbiting patterns in space. Since the 1960s, more than 26,000 satellites have been launched, for both military and civilian purposes. There are many different types of satellites in the sky, and they have a variety of uses, from transmissions to data gathering.

When Sputnik I, the first satellite, was launched in 1957, it carried a small radio transmitter onboard. This made it the first communications satellite, a common variety. These types of satellite were originally used for long-distance telephone transmissions, but later were adapted to carry satellite TV signals as well as serve many military purposes. Types of satellites used for communications often use a geostationary orbit, meaning that they rotate around the equator once per day, in effect turning with the Earth.

Astronomic satellites, or Space observatories, are used for gathering data from outer space. One of the most famous is the Hubble Telescope, launched by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA). The Hubble Space telescope is responsible for some of our best images of deep space objects, including far away nebula and planets.

If you look in the newspaper or flip on the TV to find a weather report, you are getting information obtained from weather satellites. One of the most common types of satellite, these objects are able to monitor Earth’s climate and weather systems from above and relay transmissions down to controllers. Weather satellites also can give data about environmental conditions, such as the ozone layer hole over Antarctica. Most types of satellites used to monitor weather either follow a geostationary orbital path or a north-south polar orbit.

One of the most storied types of satellites is the sneaky spy or reconnaissance satellite. Employed by military operations, these are used as tools for intelligence gathering, and frequently factor into fiction and conspiracy theories. In actuality, spy satellites are one of the most useful tools a military can have for preventative action, as they can provide information about sudden changes in the military positioning of hostile or threatening nations, even in remote places. These types of satellites are also used to monitor the production of nuclear materials worldwide, to give concerned nations early warnings if a country is producing nuclear weapons.

Satellites can be a useful tool, but a dangerous one. Critics suggest that spy satellites and those with Earth observation capabilities may result in a breech of privacy. Additionally, many fear that space weapons will evolve from satellite technology, turning the sky into a literal battle field. At least currently, satellites remain a tool for knowledge and information gathering and are an incredibly useful part of modern life and information technology. With only half a century gone since the launching of Sputnik and such a variety of applications, you can only guess at the new ways satellites will come to be used in the future.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis , Writer
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for EasyTechJunkie. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

Discussion Comments

By anon990826 — On May 11, 2015

I'm not 100 percent sure what these satellites do but currently there are 2 satellites orbiting earth today.

By anon265458 — On May 01, 2012

Can anyone give an exact number of how many satellites are orbiting earth today and what each of those satellites do?

Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis

Writer

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.