Space Image: A Beehive of Satellites

Feb 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, phys.org/news153597694.html

Explore further: Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Witnessing the early growth of a giant

2 hours ago

Astronomers have uncovered for the first time the earliest stages of a massive galaxy forming in the young Universe. The discovery was made possible through combining observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble ...

Recommended for you

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

2 hours ago

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

20 hours ago

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_Kob
not rated yet Feb 12, 2009
Sorta reminds me of the rings around saturn.
Palli
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.