Every Satellite Orbiting Earth and Who Owns Them

There are 4,550 satellites currently orbiting our planet. They have a variety of uses, from communications to space observation. Do you know which countries are operating them or which country they belong to? The researchers at Dewesoft.com looked at data from the UCS Satellite Database, the Environmental Systems Research Institute, and the Space Foundation to visualize which companies own the most satellites orbiting Earth and which country they belong to.

The following are the top 10 companies and organizations with the most satellites:

  1.     SpaceX: 1,655
  2.     OneWeb Satellites: 288
  3.     Planet Labs Inc.: 188
  4.     Chinese Ministry of National Defense: 129
  5.     Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation: 125
  6.     Spire Global Inc.: 121
  7.     Swarm Technologies: 120
  8.     U.S. Air Force: 87
  9.     Iridium Communications Inc.: 75
  10.     National Reconnaissance Office (NRO): 63

SpaceX tops the list mainly due to Starlink, which is an initiative that aims to provide internet access to the majority of people on the planet via satellite. The company even set a record in 2021 for bringing 143 satellites into orbit via one single rocket. OneWeb, the second company on the list, has a similar mission of bringing broadband internet to people everywhere in the world.

These are the 10 countries that are responsible for the most satellites:

  1.     United States: 2,804
  2.     China: 467
  3.     United Kingdom: 349
  4.     Russia: 168
  5.     Japan: 93
  6.     India: 61
  7.     Canada: 57
  8.     Germany: 47
  9.     Luxembourg: 40
  10.     Argentina: 34

The United States leads the list with nearly 3,000 satellites, largely because of SpaceX and the company with the third most satellites in space, Planet Labs Inc. China is next on the list with 467 satellites. The Chinese Ministry of National Defense is responsible for the greatest percentage of these satellites. Which of these countries or companies surprised you the most?

Every Satellite Orbiting Earth Infographic

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