Space Image: A Beehive of Satellites

February 12, 2009
Image Credit: European Space Agency

The launch of the first artificial satellite by the then Soviet Union in 1957 marked the beginning of the utilization of space for science and commercial activity. During the Cold War, space was a prime area of competition between the Soviet Union and the U.S.

In 1964 the first TV satellite was launched into a geostationary orbit to transmit the Olympic games from Tokyo. Later, Russian launch activities declined while other nations set up their own space programs. Thus, the number of objects in Earth orbit has increased steadily -- by 200 per year on average.

The debris objects shown in the images are an artist's impression based on actual density data. However, the debris objects are shown at an exaggerated size to make them visible at the scale shown.

See also: 2 big satellites collide 500 miles over Siberia,

Explore further: Next step towards a gravitational-wave observatory in space

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not rated yet Feb 12, 2009
Sorta reminds me of the rings around saturn.
not rated yet Feb 13, 2009
Nice picture, not often I'm pleased with such short articles.
-Some pictures are indeed worth of 1000 words/satellites.

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