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Operational satellites Commercial satellite operators are launching a growing number of units into orbit to satisfy demand for internet connectivity. Here is a breakdown of every operational satellite orbiting Earth. SORT BY Satellites Launch mass 0 kg Sources: Union of Concerned Scientists; NASA NOTE: Data correct to November 3, 2015 20 tonnes Commercial Government Military Civil Mixed 498 255 265 73 214 China 141 Russia 128 Multinational 111 USA 534 Japan 55 India 31 The rest 305 Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) Altitude of 35,786 km and follows the Earth’s rotation Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) Between 2,000 km and 35,786 km Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Between 80 km and 2,000 km Elliptical Orbit Close to Earth at one point, but much farther at the other 499 46 102 747 Military 282 Government 271 Civil 81 Commercial 521 Mixed 239 Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) Altitude of 35,786 km and follows the Earth’s rotation Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) Between 2,000 km and 35,786 km Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Between 80 km and 2,000 km Elliptical Orbit Close to Earth at one point, but much farther at the other 481 41 87 696 1990s 205 1980s 3 2000s 464 1970s 2 2010s 631