Orbiting satellites are quite common these days. In fact right now there are more than 10,000 satellites in orbit above Earth. Even so, our oldest orbiting satellite may not be the 50-year-old Vanguard (launched in February of 1959). Strange as it may sound to you, when it comes to communications satellites, perhaps we should look at the idea suggested in this revealing article…
Orbiting satellites are commonplace these days and we accept themand the marvelous communications work they do without so much as a second thought.
In fact, right now there are more than 10,000 satellites in orbit around Earth. According to NASA satellites have an average altitude of 240 miles. A few hundred of them are over 20 feet in length and some are as low as 100 miles above Earth and others as high as 500 miles. To an observer on Earth orbiting satellites can be seen about 45 to 90 minutes before or after sunset, or sunrise.
There are three major kinds of satellite orbits: (1) geostationary orbits, where the satellite is always in the same position with respect to the rotation of Earth. (2) Satellites in a polar orbit always circle near the polar inclination; (3) inclined orbit satellites are placed where they focus on specific regions of the Earth such as the Tropics.
Our oldest orbiting satellite is Vanguard 1 launched 50 years ago in February of 1959 it weighs about 3-1/4 pounds. So far, it has orbited the Earth more than 197,000 times. It is in a very high orbit and will probably be stable for centuries to come. But, there is now talk to bring it home so it can be put on display in the Smithsonian.
As I understand it, each satellite has one or more jobs to do such as: weather forecasting, charting ocean currents, tracking hurricanes and aircraft, relaying worldwide TV programs and much, much more.
It seems to me, the people of our churches are a bit like those satellites. Why do I say this?
Because, as we all sit in church on a Sunday, we pick up God’s message. Then, the following week, we sort of go into orbit here on Earth, and communicate that message to the people God puts in front of us during the week as His personal - orbiting satellites!