The past, present, and future of artificial satellites, arranged by function. Branley makes comprehensible the complicated tasks of the 1,000+ satellites currently in orbit. The ripple effects of space exploration include scientific contributions to meteorology, crops, and fisheries (satellites inform where water temperature is just right for tuna). Perfect glass can also be made in space. Telephone and television communications have boomed; Intelstat, the system shared by 109 nations, brought the 1984 Olympics to two billion people--half the world's population. The near future will bring the Hubble Space Telescope, through which we'll see 15 billion years into the past--perhaps when the universe began! The book went to press late enough to mention the Challenger tragedy but not late enough to explore NASA's current safety/confidence crisis. The resulting optimistic tone gives perspective and continuing inspiration over the longer term. Index.