An object in motion will stay in motion unless something pushes or pulls on it.
This statement is called Newton's first law of motion.
Without gravity, an Earth-orbiting satellite would go off into space along a straight line. With gravity, it is pulled back toward Earth.
For many ages, space was pristine. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into orbit, but when the batteries died, the aluminium satellite marked the end of an unspoiled era.
According to NASA, the space above Earth is now the world's largest garbage dump. It consists of 8,000 tons of human junk, or space debris, left by space agencies over the last six decades.
Mars was named by the ancient Romans for their god of war because its reddish color was reminiscent of blood.
Other civilizations also named the planet for this attribute; for example, the Egyptians called it "Her Desher," meaning "the red one." Even today, it is frequently called the "Red Planet" because iron minerals in the Martian dirt oxidize, or rust, causing the surface to look red.
The seventh planet from the Sun with the third largest diameter in our solar system, Uranus is very cold and windy. The ice giant is surrounded by 13 faint rings and 27 small moons as it rotates at a nearly 90-degree angle from the plane of its orbit. This unique tilt makes Uranus appear to spin on its side, orbiting the Sun like a rolling ball.
The first planet found with the aid of a telescope, Uranus was discovered in 1781 by astronomer William Herschel, although he originally thought it was either a comet or a star. It was two years later that the object was universally accepted as a new planet, in part because of observations by astronomer Johann Elert Bode.
William Herschel tried unsuccessfully to name his discovery Georgium Sidus after King George III. Instead the planet was named for Uranus, the Greek god of the sky, as suggested by Johann Bode.
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