Number of artificial satellites of the Earth
by artificial satellites can be referred to as spacecraft built specifically to rotate around the Earth in orbit , as well as various objects — debris from satellites, overclocking units, non-functioning vehicles, nodes of the last stages of rockets, which are space debris. Most often, guided or automatic spacecraft are known as satellites, but other structures — such as orbiting stations — are also them.
All these objects, not even manned, fly around Earth in orbit. In total, more than sixteen thousand different artificial objects are orbiting in Earth orbit, but only about 850 of them are functioning. The exact number of satellites cannot be ascertained because it is constantly changing — some debris in low orbits gradually declines and falls, burning up in the atmosphere.
Most of the satellites belong to the United States, the second largest number is Russia, also in this list are China, Great Britain, Canada, Italy.
The purpose of satellites may be different: they are meteorological stations, navigation instruments, bio-satellites, warships. If earlier, at the dawn of the development of the space age they could be launched only by state organizations, today there are satellites of private companies and even individuals, since the cost of this procedure has become more affordable and is several thousand dollars. This explains the huge number of different objects orbiting the Earth.
Most notable satellites
The first artificial satellite was launched in 1957 by the USSR, it was named “Sputnik 1″, this word became established and even borrowed by many other languages, including English. The following year, the US launched its project, Explorer-1.
Then followed the launches of the UK, Italy, Canada, France. Today, several dozen countries in the world have their own satellites in orbit.
One of the largest projects in the history of the space age was the launch of the ISS, an international space station with research goals. Its control is carried out by the Russian and American segments, with Danish, Canadian, Norwegian, French, Japanese, German and other cosmonauts also taking part in the station.
In 2009, the largest artificial satellite, Terrestar-1, a U.S. telecommunications organization project, was launched into orbit. It has a huge mass of almost seven tons. Its goal is to provide communications for much of North America.