Satellite Launch Statistics By Number of Objects Launched by Year, New Geosynchronous Satellites

Ketaki Joshi
Written by
Ketaki Joshi

Updated · Jun 11, 2024

Rohan Jambhale
Edited by
Rohan Jambhale

Editor

Satellite Launch Statistics By Number of Objects Launched by Year, New Geosynchronous Satellites

Introduction

Satellite Launch Statistics: Satellites are the major objects in space that fulfill the many purposes we need. For example, such satellites are made for the following reasons: technology development, understanding earth science, earth observation, communications, space science, space observations, navigation, etc. Without these, we would not be able to call ourselves technologically advanced.

These satellites are placed in rockets and then launched into space; some orbit in higher orbits, while others are in low or medium earth orbits. Many satellites are meant for geostationary orbit. The current data related to such objects is mentioned in these Satellite Launch Statistics.

General Satellite Launch Statistics

  • As of 2024, there are a total of 8,135 active satellites in low earth orbit (LEO).
  • In addition, 200 satellites are moving in medium earth orbit (MEO).
  • Furthermore, Orbit.ing-now.com lists 19 in HEO/ Graveyard, 552 in geostationary orbits, 5 in orbital decay, and 11 satellites of reentry.
  • According to Satellite Launch Statistics 2023, a total of 615 satellites were launched into space.
  • The United States of America has made most of the satellite launches compared to other countries.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Number of Satellites

According to Pixalytics, the following are the top 10 countries with the most satellites in space based on recent Satellite Launch Statistics.

Country Total Satellites
United States 4,511
China 586
United Kingdom 561
Russia 177
India 62
Canada 56
Germany 48
Luxembourg 45
Argentina 38
Israel 27

(Source: pixalytics.com)

By Number of Objects Launched by Year

Year Object launched
1957 2
1958 8
1959 14
1960 20
1961 38
1962 77
1964 107
1965 163
1966 145
1967 159
1968 140
1969 138
1970 130
1971 156
1972 133
1973 1990
1991 135
1992 130
1993 108
1994 123
1995 105
1996 100
1997 152
1998 157
1999 129
2000 121
2001 86
2002 96
2003 88
2004 74
2005 72
2006 95
2007 111
2008 109
2009 125
2010 120
2011 129
2012 134
2013 210
2014 241
2015 222
2016 221
2017 456
2018 453
2019 586
2020 1274
2021 1910
2022 2474
2023 1354

(Source: pixalytics.com)

According to Satellite Launch Statistics, more than 15,000 objects have been launched into space over the last 66 years. The year-on-year progress has significantly increased, and since lockdown, the number of such launches has reached over 1,000.

Top 10 Companies with the Most Satellites Orbiting Earth

DeweSoft listed the top 10 Companies with the most Satellites Orbiting Earth in 2023

Companies Number of Satellites
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) 63
Iridium Communications Inc 74
The US. Air Force 87
Swarm Technologies 120
Spire Global Inc 121
Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation 125
Chinese Ministry of National Defense 129
Planet Labs Inc 188
OneWeb Satellites 288
SpaceX 1,655

(Source: dewesoft.com)

By Breakdown of Satellites by Purpose

A similar report by Dewesoft explains the share of satellites orbiting in space by their missions based on Satellite Launch Statistics 2023.

Purpose Share of Satellites
Space Science 2.3%
Space observation 0.22%
Earth Science 0.44%
Technology Demonstration 0.77%
Navigation/ global positioning 3.6%
Technology development 7.8%
Earth Observation 22.1%
Communications 63%

(Source: dewesoft.com)

Satellite Launch Statistics by Country

Country Launch Date Satellite Name
Soviet Union 4 October 1957 Sputnik 1
United States 1 February 1958 Explorer 1
United Kingdom 26 April 1962 Ariel 1
Canada 29 September 1962 Alouette 1
Italy 15 December 1964 San Marco 1
France 26 November 1965 Astérix
Australia 29 November 1967 WRESAT
10 European Countries (Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France) 17 May 1968 ESRO 2B
West Germany 8 November 1969 Azur
Japan 11 February 1970 Ohsumi
People’s Republic of China 24 April 1970 Dongfanghong I
Netherlands 30 August 1974 ANS
Spain 15 November 1974 Intasat
India 19 April 1975 Aryabhata
Indonesia 8 July 1976 Palapa A1
Czechoslovakia 24 October 1978 Magion 1
Bulgaria 7 August 1981 Bulgaria 1300
Saudi Arabia 8 February 1985 Arabsat- 1A
Brazil 8 February 1985 Brasilsat A1
Mexico 17 June 1985 Morelos 1
Sweden 22 February 1986 Viking
Israel 19 September 1988 Ofek-1
Luxembourg 11 December 1988 Astra 1A
Argentina 22 January 1990 Lusat
Hong Kong 7 April 1990 AsiaSat 1
Pakistan 16 July 1990 Badr-1
Russia 21 January 1992 Kosmos 2175
South Korea 10 August 1992 Kitsat- 1
Portugal 26 September 1993 PoSAT-1
Thailand 18 December 1993 Thaicom-1
Turkey 10 August 1994 Turksat 1B
Czech Republic 2 August 1995 Magion 4
Ukraine 31 August 1995 Sich-1
Chile 31 August 1995 FASat-Alfa
Malaysia 13 January 1996 MEASAT-1
Norway 20 May 1997 Thor 2
Philippines 20 March 1987 Mabuhay (Agila 1)
Philippines 19 August 1997 Mabuhay (Agila 2)
Egypt 28 April 1998 Nilesat 101
Singapore / Taiwan 25 August 1998 ST-1
Taiwan 27 January 1999 Formosat-1
South Africa 23 February 1999 SUNSAT
Denmark 23 February 1999 Ørsted
Georgia 17 July 1999 Reflektor
United Arab Emirates 21 October 2000 Thuraya 1
Belgium 22 October 2001 PROBA-1
Morocco 10 December 2001 Maroc- Tubsat
Tonga 21 February 1981 Esiafi 1 (previously Comstar D4)
Algeria 28 November 2002 AISAT-1
Greece 13 May 2003 Hellas-Sat 2
Nigeria 27 September 2003 NigeriaSat-1
Iran 27 October 2005 Sina- 1
Kazakhstan 17 June 2006 KazSat-1
Colombia 17 April 2007 Libertad-1
Mauritius 21 December 2007 Rascom-QAF 1
Vietnam 18 April 2008 Vinasat-1
Venezuela 29 October 2008 Venesat-1
Afghanistan 20 December 2008 Eutelsat 48D / Afghansat 1
Switzerland 23 September 2009 SwissCube-1
Singapore 20 April 2011 X-Sat
Isle of Man 19 October 2011 ViaSat-1
Hungary 13 February 2012 MaSat-1
Poland 13 February 2012 PW-Sat
Romania 13 February 2012 Goliat
Belarus 22 July 2012 BelKA-2
North Korea 12 December 2012 Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2
Azerbaijan 7 February 2013 Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a
Austria 25 February 2013 TUGSAT-1/UniBRITE
Bermuda 14 July 2000 Bermudasat 1 (previously EchoStar VI)
Ecuador 26 April 2013 NEE-01 Pegaso
Estonia 7 May 2013 ESTCube-1
Jersey 25 June 2013 O3b-1/O3b-2/O3b-3/O3b-4
France / Qatar 29 August 2013 Eutelsat 25B/ Es”hail 1
Qatar 29 August 2013 Es” hail 1
Peru 21 November 2013 PUCK-Sat 1 / Pocket- PUCK
Bolivia 20 December 2013 Túpac Katari 1
Lithuania 9 January 2014 LitSat-1 / Lituanica SAT-1
Iraq 19 June 2014 Tigrisat
Uruguay 19 June 2014 ANTELSAT
Turkmenistan 27 April 2015 TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT
Laos 20 November 2015 Laosat-1
Finland 18 April 2017 Aalto-2
Bangladesh 3 June 2017 BRAC ONNESHA
Ghana 3 June 2017 GhanaSat-1
Mongolia 3 June 2017 Mazaalai (Satellite)
Latvia 23 June 2017 Venta 1
Slovakia 23 June 2017 skCUBE
Angola 26 December 2017 AngoSat 1
New Zealand 21 January 2018 Humanity Star
Costa Rica 2 April 2018 Proyecto Irazú
Kenya 2 April 2018 1KUNS-PF
Bhutan 29 June 2018 Bhutan 1
Jordan 3 December 2018 JY1-SAT
Nepal 17 April 2019 NepaliSat-1
Sri Lanka 17 April 2019 Raavana 1
Rwanda 24 September 2019 RWASAT-1
Sudan 3 November 2019 Sudan Remote Sensing Satellite 1 (SRSS-1)
Ethiopia 20 December 2019 Ethiopia Remote Sensing Satellite 1 (ETRSS-1)
Guatemala 7 March 2020 Quetzal-1
Slovenia 3 September 2020 TRISAT
Slovenia 3 September 2020 NEMO-HD
Monaco 3 September 2020 OMS-1 Cicero
Paraguay 20 February 2021 GuaraniSat-1
Myanmar 20 February 2021 Lawkanat- 1
Tunisia 22 March 2021 Challenge- 1
Kuwait 30 June 2021 QMR-KWT
Bahrain / United Arab Emirates 21 December 2021 Light-1
Armenia / Spain 25 May 2022 ARMSAT_1
Moldova 15 July 2022 TUMnanoSAT
Uganda 7 November 2022 PearlAfricaSat-1
Zimbabwe 7 November 2022 ZIMSAT-1
Albania 3 January 2023 Albania – 1 & Albania – 2
Vatican City / Italy 12 June 2023 SpeiSat
Oman 11 November 2023 AMAN-1
Djibouti 11 November 2023 Djibouti-1A
Armenia 1 December 2023 Hayasat-1
Ireland 1 December 2023 EIRSAT-1

(Source: wikipedia.org)

Number of Satellites Cataloged, Decayed, and On-Orbit

(Reference: statista.com)

According to Statista Research 2023, around 26,700 satellites orbited Earth at the beginning of the previous year, a 6.8% increase compared to 2022. Overall, segments such as cataloged, decayed, and on-orbit have shown a significant increase in the number of satellites concerning Satellite Launch Statistics.

By First Orbital Launches By Country

Order Country Government Rocket Satellite Date Launch Site
1 Soviet Union Government Sputnik PS Sputnik 1 4 October 1957 Kazakhstan, formerly Baikonur, Soviet Union
2 United States Government

 

Juno I Explorer 1 Cape Canaveral, USA 1 February 1958
3 France Government

 

Diamant A Astérix Hamaguir, Algeria 26 November 1965
4 Japan Government

 

Lambda-4S Ohsumi 11 February, 1970 Uchinoura, Japan
5 China Government

 

Long March 1 Dong Fang Hong 1 24 April, 1970 Jiuquan, China
6 United Kingdom Government Black Arrow Prospero 28 October 1971 Woomera, Australia
European Space Agency Government Ariane 1 CAT-1 (Obélix) 24 December 1979 Kourou, French Guiana
7 India Government SLV Rohini 1 (RS1) 18 July 1980 Sriharikota, India
8 Israel Government Shavit Ofeq 1 19 September 1988 Palmachim, Israel
Ukraine Government Tsyklon- 3 Strela-3 (x6, Russian) 28 September 1991 Russia, formerly Plesetsk, Soviet Union
9 Iran Government Safir- 1A Omid 2 February, 2009 Semnan, Iran
10 North Korea Government Unha-3 Kwangmyǒngsǒng- 3 Unit 2 12 December 2012 Sohae, North Korea
11 South Korea Government Naro-1 STSat-2c 30 January 2013 Goheung, South Korea

(Source: wikipedia.org)

By New Geosynchronous Satellites

Based on a report, Space Activities in 2023, by Jonathan McDowell, the following chart explains the geostationary satellites launched in the mentioned year, ordered by longitude.

Name Piece Operator Mission Location
Arcturus 2023-060B Astranis Communications 163.00W
Galaxy 37 2023-112A Horizons/Intelsat SA (US) Communications 127.02W
Jupiter 3 2023-108A Echostar/HNS/Echostar Communications 95.19W
Galaxy 35 2022-170A Intelsat SA (US) Communications 93.13W
Intelsat IS-40e 2023-052A Intelsat SA (US) Communications 91.03W
Galaxy 36 2022-170B Intelsat SA (US) Communications 88.96W
Viasat-3 Americas 2023-060A ViaSat Communications 88.88W
Amazonas Nexus 2023-017A Hispamar/Hispasat Communications 60.99W
 Meteosat 12 2022-170C EUMETSAT Weather 3.54W
Heinrich-Hertz-Satellit 2023-093A DLR Communications 0.50E
Luch-5Kh No. 3 2023-031A FSB Com/Sigint 2.66E
EUTELSAT 10B 2022-157A EutelsatSA Communications 9.98E
CBAS 2 2023-008A USSF SSC Communications 24.36E
 Badr 8 2023-075A Arabsat Communications 25.96E
Ludi Tance 4A 2023-120A CNSA Radar Imaging 89.60E
Zhongxing 6E 2023-172A China Satcom Communications 115.53E
Yaogan 41 2023-197A PLA GAD/CAST Imaging 123.26E
Zhongxing 26 2023-023A China Satcom Communications 125.13E
NVS-01 2023-076A ISRO Navigation 129.36E
Satria 2023-086A SNT Communications 145.93E
Gao Fen 13-02 2023-036A Yaogan Zongti Imaging 146.66E
Beidou DW 56 2023-066A CNSA Navigation 160.07E
 G-Space 1 2023-060C Gravity Space Communications 165.49E
Elektro-L No. 4 2023-016A Rosgidromet/Lavochkin Weather 165.81E
Tongxin Jishu Shiyan 10 2023-169A PLA SSF Early Warn 173.26E
USA 340 2022-144E USSF SSC/Millenium ES Technology Drift orbit
LINUSS1 2022-144G LMSS Denver Technology Drift orbit
 LINUSS2 2022-144H LMSS Denver Technology Drift orbit
Shi Jian 23 2023-002A PLA SSF Communications Drift orbit
LDPE 3A 2023-008B AFRL/RV Technology Drift orbit
Chandrayaan-3 2023-098A ISRO Planetary Departed GEO region
 Aditya-L1 2023-132A ISRO Astronomy Departed GEO region
Syracuse 4B 2023-093B DGA Communications Orbit raising
Apstar 6E 2023-005A APT Shenzhen Communications Orbit raising

(Source: planet4589.org)

Satellites: Orbiting Marvels and Their Impact

Satellites are like human-made moons, orbiting Earth or other celestial bodies. They come in two main flavors: natural and artificial.

  • Natural satellites: These are celestial bodies like our Moon, which circles Earth, or the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
  • Artificial satellites: These are machines launched by humans that orbit Earth or other planets. There are thousands of them whizzing around in space!

Let’s focus on these amazing human creations.

Launching into the Great Beyond

Getting a satellite to space is no easy feat. It’s like throwing a really heavy ball incredibly hard and making it go around Earth without falling back down. Here’s a simplified launch process:

  • Building the Satellite: Satellites come in all shapes and sizes, depending on their purpose. They are meticulously crafted with special materials to withstand the harsh environment of space. Sensitive instruments and powerful antennas are packed inside.
  • Packing for the Ride: The satellite is carefully secured inside a rocket, which acts as a powerful taxi to space. The rocket is fueled with a special propellant that ignites with tremendous force, propelling the entire package skyward.
  • Liftoff! The launch is a thrilling sight. The massive rocket ignites, and with a fiery roar, it blasts off the launchpad. It sheds stages as it climbs higher, leaving behind used fuel tanks.
  • Reaching Orbit: Once the rocket reaches a specific altitude and speed, it releases the satellite. The satellite continues moving at a very high velocity, causing it to fall around Earth instead of crashing back down. This path is called an orbit.

A Galaxy of Satellite Types

There are many types of satellites, each with a specialized function:

  • Communication Satellites: These act as giant relay stations in space, bouncing radio signals around the globe. They enable phone calls, internet access, and TV broadcasts to reach even remote locations.
  • Navigation Satellites: These are the brains behind Global Positioning Systems (GPS). They constantly transmit signals that GPS devices on Earth use to pinpoint your location on a map.
  • Earth Observation Satellites: These satellites monitor our planet. They take pictures of its surface, monitor weather patterns, track environmental changes, and help us understand it better.
  • Scientific Research Satellites: These satellites venture beyond Earth, studying the Sun, other planets, stars, and galaxies. They help us unravel the mysteries of the universe.
  • Weather Satellites: These satellites continuously monitor weather systems, capturing cloud formations, precipitation patterns, and atmospheric conditions. This information is crucial for weather forecasting and predicting severe weather events.
  • Military Satellites: These classified satellites are used for reconnaissance (spying on other countries), early warning of missile launches, and secure military communication.

The Booming Satellite Business

The satellite industry is a multi-billion dollar business and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. Here’s a glimpse into the market’s potential:

  • Market Size: According to market research firms, the global satellite market was valued at over $120 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach over $180 billion by 2030. This shows a significant growth of over 50% in just seven years!
  • Growth Drivers: The increasing demand for high-speed internet, advancements in satellite technology, rising investments in space exploration, and the growing need for Earth observation data are all driving the satellite market.
  • New Applications: Emerging applications, such as satellite-based internet for remote areas, in-flight Wi-Fi on airplanes, and real-time monitoring of agricultural land, are creating new opportunities in the market.

Challenges to Consider: While the future looks bright, there are challenges to address. Space debris from old satellites and rocket parts poses a threat to operational satellites. Additionally, regulating satellite constellations (large groups of satellites working together) in low Earth orbit to avoid overcrowding is crucial.

In conclusion, satellites are marvels of engineering that have revolutionized communication, navigation, and our understanding of Earth and space. As technology advances and new applications emerge, the satellite market is poised for continued growth, shaping the future of how we connect, explore, and manage our planet.

The Future of Satellites

The year 2024 is just the beginning of an exciting era for satellites. Here’s a look at some potential future trends:

  • Mega Constellations: Companies like SpaceX with Starlink and OneWeb are launching massive constellations of small satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to provide global internet coverage, especially in underserved areas. This trend is expected to continue, with potential benefits like faster internet speeds and lower latency (delay) for everyone.
  • Satellite-Based 5G: Integrating 5G technology with satellite networks is a promising development. This could revolutionize mobile communication, allowing smartphones to connect to the internet directly through satellites, bypassing traditional cellular towers. Imagine making a video call from the peak of Mount Everest!
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Space: AI is poised to play a bigger role in satellite operations. AI-powered systems can analyze vast amounts of data collected by satellites, helping with tasks like anomaly detection, predictive maintenance, and optimizing resource allocation.
  • Space Tourism and In-Space Manufacturing: The rise of space tourism ventures may lead to the development of specialized satellites catering to space hotels or providing communication and navigation services for space travelers. Additionally, in-space manufacturing using 3D printing technology within satellites could become a reality, allowing for the creation of structures and materials in space itself.
  • Focus on Sustainability: As the number of satellites increases, space debris becomes a growing concern. Developing sustainable practices like deorbiting defunct satellites or designing them to self-destruct after their lifespan will be crucial. Additionally, utilizing reusable launch vehicles and cleaner propellants will minimize the environmental impact of the satellite industry.

The Ethical Considerations: The increasing presence of satellites in space raises ethical questions. Issues like militarization of space, weaponization of satellites, and potential conflicts over orbital slots need to be addressed through international cooperation and regulations.

Conclusion

The future of satellites is brimming with possibilities. As seen in these Satellite Launch Statistics, from revolutionizing communication networks to aiding scientific discovery and exploration, satellites will continue to play a transformative role in our lives.

As we venture further into space, responsible development, and international collaboration will be key to ensuring a sustainable and peaceful future for space exploration and the benefits it brings to humanity.

FAQ.

Which country has the most satellites in space?

According to Satellite Launch Statistics 2024, the United States of America has the most satellites orbiting in space

What is the cost of launching a satellite in space?

According to HowStuffWorks, it requires around $10 million to $400 million to launch satellites in space. However, the amount depends on the vehicle type.

What type of satellite has the highest share in orbit?

Satellites that provide communications all over the world have a major share in orbit with 63%.

Ketaki Joshi
Ketaki Joshi

Ketaki Joshi is a professional medical writer with extensive experience in scientific research on illness, health, and healthcare. Her work includes creating feature articles for newsletters and websites, as well as research news stories for doctors and researchers. With a lifelong passion for reading, Ketaki transitioned from a career at a French multinational company to pursue writing professionally. Her dedication to the craft has culminated in the recent release of her first Amazon-published short story, "The Envelope That Changed Our Lives."

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