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Satellites in Low Orbits Are Taking over the Skies

Satellites in Low Orbits Are Taking over the Skies

Satellites in Low Orbits Are Taking over the Skies

Mark Fischetti

For the number of satellites orbiting Earth rose at a gentle pace, but growth has soared recently. By July 2019 more than 2,200 satellites were aloft. In the 1980s and 1990s the action was in geosynchronous orbit (blues), Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the for Astrophysics|Harvard & Smithsonian. But now the action is in the lowest Earth orbits (yellows), he says, and increasingly dominated by young companies rather than government, military or academic owners. Today the push is from Starlink—constellations of satellites weighing 260 kilograms, being launched by SpaceX to deliver high-speed Internet.


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Author: Mark Fischetti {authorlink}
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