Satellite television – beaming pictures from space

Thanks to satellites thousands of kilometres above Earth, the World Cup was watched live on TV across the world over this summer. Every goal, every foul, the joy and the pain were relayed from the pitch to our living rooms in an instant, by bouncing the television signals off an electronic platform floating high above the equator. But how exactly does this work, how are the satellites controlled from the ground and what risks do they face in orbit?

Last update: 9 September 2010

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