How many artificial satellites orbit Earth?


Quick Answer

As of July, 2014, there are 1,235 active artificial satellites currently in orbit around the Earth. The only natural satellite that orbits Earth is the moon.

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Full Answer

An artificial satellite is a manmade object placed into planetary orbit to perform specific functions. Some satellites are used for communications, weather forecasts, geographical surveys or for military purposes. Satellites can travel across the polar regions, follow a course around the equator or orbit deep into space.

The United States leads in the most number of operational satellites at 512, followed by Russia at 135 and China at 116. Out of 512 satellites, 159 of these are intended for the U.S. military.

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