UCS Satellite Database

9/1/15 Satellite Database Downloads (includes launches through 8/31/15)
 Changes to the database (pdf)  Quick Guide to Using the Database (pdf)
 Common misconceptions (pdf)  User's manual (pdf)

Assembled by experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the Satellite Database is a listing of the more than 1000 operational satellites currently in orbit around Earth.

Our intent in producing the database is to create a research tool for specialists and non-specialists alike by collecting open-source information on operational satellites and presenting it in a format that can be easily manipulated for research and analysis.

It is available as both a downloadable Excel file and in a tab-delimited text format. A version is also provided in which the "Name" column contains only the official name of the satellite in the case of government and military satellites, and the most commonly used name in the case of commercial and civil satellites.

Satellite Quick Facts (includes launches through 8/31/15)
Total number of operating satellites: 1,305
United States: 549 Russia: 131 China: 142 Other: 483
LEO: 696 MEO: 87 Elliptical: 41 GEO: 481
Total number of U.S. satellites: 549
Civil: 21 Commercial: 250 Government: 126 Military: 152

The database is updated roughly quarterly (subscribe in the sidebar to the right). The database contains 26 types of data for each satellite, including technical information about each satellite (mass, power, launch date, expected lifetime) and its orbit (apogee, perigee, inclination, and period), as well as information on what the satellite is used for, and who owns, operates, and built the satellite.

Users can answer questions such as:

  • How many satellites does a given country have in orbit, and what are they used for?
  • How many satellites are used for military purposes versus commercial purposes?
  • Which countries have earth-observing satellites?
  • When was the oldest working satellite launched?
  • At what altitudes do most satellites orbit?
  • What activities are most satellites involved with?

We welcome corrections, additions, and suggestions. These can be emailed to the database manager at SatelliteData@ucsusa.org

Last Revised: September 1, 2015

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