A satellite is built on a launch pad. Clicking on the launch pad will show you the requirements and if the satellite meets them.
First, it needs to be made out of rocket blocks (1 steel block 1 gold block for 5). The inside can be made out of anything, but the outside must be covered with rocket alloy. If it doesn’t meet this requirement, it’ll explode upon launch. Next, it requires thrusters (10 fuel 1 steel block). Every 9x9 of the satellite requires one thruster. If there aren’t enough thrusters, the satellite won’t launch. Finally, there can’t be any existing satellites where you’re launching. If there is, the launch pad will warn you, but if you launch anyways, it’ll destroy the satellite that just launched.
Some components of the blocks required for the rocket are: space hatch (1 rocket block 10 copper wire 1 electric motor), signal receiver (10 silicon wafers, 2 steel, 10 copper wire).
In order to return to your satellite, you have to place a space beacon (1 signal receiver, 10 copper wire, 1 steel block) and craft a escape pod (2 carbon fiber blocks, 2 rocket blocks, 1 thruster, 1 space hatch). The pod allows you to launch to your satellite(s) if you’re below them. But to use the escape pod, you have to craft an pod dock (2 rocket blocks, 10 copper wire, 1 space hatch) If you select “find satellites” on the escape pod, it’ll highlight the area below the pod dock.
In order to expand the space station and invade other space stations, you have to make an air lock (1 rocket block, 10 copper wire, 2 space hatches). You also need a space helmet (1 steel ingot, 1 gold ingot, 1 carbon fiber helmet, 1 black glass) . If try to exit the space station by breaking the walls, it’ll explode. In outer space, you can still fly around with a jetpack.