Space exploration: Why do we put satellites in space?

Did You Know: Space – Why do we put satellites in space?

Traveling around the Earth high above you are hundreds of satellites. These are machines that have been launched into space to orbit the Earth.

Satellites do many useful jobs such as helping us forecast the weather, letting us use cell phones, and taking pictures from space.


The antenna sends out signals to the Earth. It can also receive signals from the Earth.

Solar panel

This flat, rectangular “wing” is a solar panel. It uses sunlight to make electricity, which powers the satellite’s equipment.

Antenna dish

A lot of satellites in space are used for communications. Their antenna dishes receive and pass on telephone, television, and Internet signals.

What else do satellites do?

Study space

Some satellites work as telescopes.

The Kepler space telescope scans space to look for Earthlike planets.

Look at the Earth

A lot of satellites look back at the Earth. This satellite is called CALIPSO and it monitors the clouds and weather on Earth.