We all know this line from Star Trek, but is all space travel (science) fiction or are we really up there and did we go to the moon.

If you go through everything that can be found on the moon landing and space travel, a lot more can be found that supports this fact, than there is to deny it. Rockets are send into the sky at a very regular basis, not just by NASA, but also by other agencies from the Soviet Union, China, Japan, Europe, India, Korea. In fact the first country to attain space travel was the Soviet Union in 1957 with Sputnik 1. They were also the first to launch a human (Yuri Gagarin in 1961) into space.

All this data shows that a lot of people and countries in all levels are either withholding the truth, somehow, and fooling everyone, or we actually went up there.
If you believe the first than a lot of question should be answered:

  • How do satellite signals work, for communication, television, GPS, Satellite phone, etc.
  • How is the weather monitored with such precision and update frequency.

Imagine all the people that have to deal with design and building the hardware and software. Imagine how to pull that off?

But.. let's say take a look into some other explanations:

Communication

Satellites are used for communication. A signal is send up into the sky and bounced back to the earth. What would cause a bounce back? Some kind of shield at the exact height of where the supposed satellites are? (See https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/OrbitsCatalog for an explanation of where the different satellites can be.

Diagram of different classes of orbital altitudes.

The orbit of a communication satellite can be easily calculated by the time it takes for a signal to 'bounce' back to the earth. And the signals are amplified, because the strength of the signal will diminish the longer the distance it has to cover. 

Now satellite phones and tv can be used everywhere, even when there are no radio transmitters available. In the desert, on the ocean, etc.
And yes, some kind of communication use the troposphere to bounce back signals. I.e. the military. The difficulty is precise pinpointing to the position the signal has to go to, because it is a relative small region in which the signal can be received.

GPS

The same goes for GPS and GLONASS (the Russian equivalent) and Galileo positioning satellites. How would that work when there were no satellites? Radio towers? An underground Tesla network?
And how will this work on an ocean? There are no towers broadcasting signals there or any other under water sources.

Alternative?

Fact is: Nobody has provided a working alternative to satellite use. With the key word 'working', which means in all circumstances where we know there are GPS signals.
Most stories involve misconception of how GPS works: More on that in de map section of this site.

The only thing that is pointed out is:

  • There are so many satellites (See https://www.pixalytics.com/sats-orbiting-the-earth-2018/ for figures, but lets say 5000.) why can't we see them?
    Well, could you see a bus driving 20km from your position? How about 2000 km? At a 2000 km height the surface covered is
    4 x π x r2 = 4 x π x (2000 + radius earth)2. This is 4 x 3.14 x (2000 + 6.371)2 =   880.571.343 km2. So each satellite has a staggering 175.114 km2 to move in. And that is if all satellites were to move on the same plane, which the do not, they are spaced out in 3-dimensions.
    Or in simpler terms: Would you be able to find 5000 objects the size of a bus, or even a house, on the surface of the earth, from 2000km distance? No, you would not.
  • Why can't we see satellites on pictures from ISS? (See reason above)
  • It is too hot there (+ 2500 C). But this is the energy level of the molecules. In space there are not many molecules to conduct heat.
  • Satellite dishes are pointed side ways, not up. Well, that depends on the service you are using, 800 communication satellites are just too few to cover the whole of the plane.
  • They are high altitude balloons. Imagine how they would float up there, in the winds, stable for years and years and years...
  • And so forth, and so forth.

So can we prove there are satellites?
Yes, with a good telescope and patience you can spot some of them in the lower orbits.