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Aerospace What's it like to fly a satellite?

  1. Nov 6, 2016 #1
    I have always wondered what is entailed in the day-to-day operation of a satellite. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot out there about the people who fly the thousands of spacecraft on orbit today and what their job is like. What exactly are the controllers in the ground stations doing at their terminals? What parameters are they monitoring? Are they constantly uplinking commands to keep the spacecraft functioning? Are there checklists the controllers have to run through each day/week/month/etc.? Do they have to make many control inputs, or is it mostly just a matter of watching and waiting for something to go wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2016 #2
    Most satellites, such as GPS ones for example, operate largely autonomously, with small adjustments from controllers on Earth when things are not as expected.
    There are obvious exceptions to that like the Hubble telescope which has a long queue of requests for access and control.
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