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Technology has given way to transmission of information without any need for any physical link. Connection between two entities can now be made through the air and kept at a stable state. Surely, this technology can help mankind rush towards the next step without much trouble, but this is only just the beginning. We have come up with such marvels like digital communications and the Internet, but before all of those came to the public market, there was the satellite dish.

Long seen as one of the fundamental big leaps in communication technology, the satellite dish has opened doors to new ways of bringing the world into perspective without hassle or frustration. Its applications have been steadily growing, and we have been benefiting from it longer than we realize. Imagine the expanse of time that it took to come up with such technology only to be taken for granted here in the present. We must look closer into what it really is, its history, and its future.

  The Satellite Dish

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The satellite dish is not a new concept, which is contrary to what most people would think. The very first fictional depiction of a satellite being sent into orbit was in the short story, "The Brick Moon", by Edward Everett Hale, which was written way back in the 1860's. Then, it surfaced again in Jules Verne's "The Begum's Millions". This wave of fictional theories of launching something into outer space went on up to the 1900's, right until the launching of Sputnik 1, the very first artificial satellite, on October 4, 1957.

Technology is useless without being able to put it to use. Once, the satellite dish was used to transmit radio messages and such, and was once used to actually create a top secret death ray weapon. That one did fail, but the mark that the satellite dish has made in the minds of experts culminated to the different applications that we see around us today.
Much of the action is done out in orbit just outside the Earth's atmosphere by a space satellite, which relays signals that are shot from its source here on Earth, then bounced back to the satellite dishes it was destined to go to. With the space revolution of the 60's and 70's and the space shuttles of the 80's and 90's, satellites were launched at a steadily increasing rate, making the satellite dish's utilization nearly limitless.

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At first, it was more on communications, sending messages back and forth in better clarity than from conventional radios. Then, it was thought that we could actually use it for transmission and reception of mass media. Soon after, certain television and radio programming, especially those coming from great distances, were being received via satellite with satellite dishes.

The satellite dish is also used in astronomy or, more specifically, radio astronomy. There are large satellite dishes set up in different parts of the world, like the VLA (Very Large Array) in the USA, the Parkes Observatory in Australia, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Great Britain, and so on. Basically, these are giant satellite dishes that can catch the tiniest of radio waves from outer space for purposes of scientific study of whatever is out there in space.

Recently, one of the major advents of the digital age, which is the Internet, started to be transmitted via satellite as well. Television is now also shifting from the cable of yesterday to the satellite dish of today, bringing massive amounts of channels along with it. Radio has also done the same thing. Getting your way around places has also become exponentially easier due to satellite navigation due to the advent of the Global Positioning System.

The satellite dish is now a common sight in towns and cities around the world, and the technology is still progressing towards new heights. In the future, there can only be even more wonderful things that can be innovated by the use of satellite dishes. Time can only tell of what new innovations we will get to witness in our lifetimes.

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