View Full Version : Countries with satellites...

29th Mar 2014, 00:49
Just how many countries are there with their own satellites? I'm not even sure just how many countries there are (upto 249 with the Vatican being the smallest according to Wikipedia, just 193 "member states" of the UN) in the World. Not forgetting about all the satellites (geo-stationary and in lower orbits) owned and operated by private corporations etc.

It's just that we've already seen / heard about satellite images concerning MH370 debris from Chinese, Japanese, French, Australian and most recently even a Thai satellite...?! Less on imagery from the countries you'd normally expect to be best equipped (ie) USA and Russia etc.

One is left to wonder if or when the International media will also resort to consulting the satellite imagery which might be available from all the other countries / private operators of satellites. A long way to go before the media in general "run out of fuel" on this frenzy IMHO...?! :}

29th Mar 2014, 00:58
Good question airship. Proliferation of satellites is becoming a real concern particularly low Earth orbit. The age of the personal satellite is almost upon us and certainly at the general commercial organisation level it is now a reality.

29th Mar 2014, 01:30
I was going to say, the title should be countries and companies with satellites. Some of the big multinationals rate as their own entity, or think they do:p

29th Mar 2014, 05:51
The Vatican may be the smallest country, but they claim the most comprehensive extra terrestrial surveillance capability.

29th Mar 2014, 06:41
As far as corporations go, SES (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SES_S.A.) own 55 geosynchronous comm satellites and Intelsat (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelsat) have 52. In low earth orbit Iridium (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_satellite_constellation) has a constellation of 66 plus spares.

As far as photography goes they're a bit thinner on the ground, but the French set up Astrium which eventually folded into Airbus Space and which operates the SPOT constellation in polar orbit. (http://www.astrium-geo.com/en/192-the-spot-satellites)

29th Mar 2014, 11:01
Back in the days shortly after the USSR expired, Russian gov operations of various sorts were hard up for cash. One result was very advantageous rates for made-to-order satpix.

A gang of friends passed the hat to collect for a special group photo. The quite modest quoted sum even included minor repositioning to snap a pix of our annual assembly, at a given time and place.... with the assembled souls outstanding in a grid formation on a bit of beach, looking up and waving.

Worrals in the wilds
29th Mar 2014, 11:33
The Vatican may be the smallest country, but they claim the most comprehensive extra terrestrial surveillance capability.

Accessing the footage could be easier said than done :eek::}.

Windy Militant
29th Mar 2014, 16:59
The thing is that Hollywood has given us the view of satellites being able to zoom in on an object any where on earth at the drop of a hat.
Unless the original orbit carries the bird over a particular place at a given time you have to expend on board fuel to shift the orbit of said bird to place it over the point of interest during daylight hours.
As the Russians and Americans are more interested in other parts of the world at the moment then they may not want to do this as each bird has a finite amount of fuel and once it runs out you are stuck in what ever orbit you are in when it happens.
I don't know if the ISS goes that far south but it carries high definition imaging gear which can be pointed at areas of interest.
Otherwise I suspect the only satellites that are capable of doing this are military. Weather sats are too wide view and mapping Sats although of high resolution these days are designed to fly a stable orbit to give the best images and are not easily diverted from their programmed path.
The other thing to consider is that at the higher magnifications needed to resolve smaller items you cover much less ground on each pass.
Not a problem if you are trying to look at something you have a location for but not ideal for searching for something that might be there.
I suppose we could get Prospero to give them a beep beep when she goes over!

29th Mar 2014, 18:25
How many.......you mean 'satellites' or 'satellites with visual/infrared/radar/water-vapour etc scanning' ?

Question about all satellites cannot be answered. Nobody knows. Question about scanning satellites likewise, same reason. NASA allocates a numerical launch number followed by an alpha character for each particle launched, but that's the ones they know about. Or are told about.

The things I heard about military satellites before I "retired" in 1993, you wouldn't believe, even if I could tell you, which I can't. (Official Secrets Act).

And then we come to the satellites in orbit around the earth which were put there by non-humans, and nobody knows how many of those there are, either.

Flying Serpent
29th Mar 2014, 18:46
the satellites in orbit around the earth which were put there by non-humans

....Aha...the Black Knight satellite. Was wondering who put it there?

West Coast
29th Mar 2014, 18:47
Perhaps I'm missing the obvious, what are satellites put there by non humans?

29th Mar 2014, 18:48
The Vatican may be the smallest country, but they claim the most comprehensive extra terrestrial surveillance capability.

That service is by subscription only.

30th Mar 2014, 14:29
Perhaps I'm missing the obvious, what are satellites put there by non humans?

Er.the Moon?

Dak Man
30th Mar 2014, 14:35
Why aren't these search areas being flooded with UAVs fitted with high res cameras?

Lightning Mate
30th Mar 2014, 15:07
"And then we come to the satellites in orbit around the earth which were put there by non-humans"

You must mean the North Korean regime.

30th Mar 2014, 15:35
A satellite is any object in orbit around a larger object, constrained there by such physical rules as gravity.

Our moon is an example of this.

In the context of the question asked, a satellite is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit. In the present thread we are discussing artificial satellites put into orbit by human beings.

An artificial satellite may be used for applications such earth observation or communications, or for scientific research such as astronomy or experiments requiring an environment not found on the surface of the planet.

Relatively few satellites in orbit around our planet have visual observation facilities built-in because it is not necessary. For example crop management satellites use IR and UV scanners; weather satellites use water vapour and IR, and visual wavelengths.

Most of the satellites using detailed visual scanning are military, and these provide results which are or were classified, such as reading car number plates/registrations in car parks to see which scientist or engineer is working where or measuring vehicle tire distortion to see whether transportable missiles are fueled or empty. Both those examples by the way date from the 1990's.

It is extremely unlikely that operators of a military satellite which produces identifiable details of aircraft wreckage from space will make that announcement public, as it says far too much about their earth observation capabilities.

IMHO if there has been any surface wreckage which is capable of being viewed by a military earth observation satellite, it has already been spotted and noted. If there was any explosion of a magnitude visible from space in the IR bands, likewise.

31st Mar 2014, 00:42
Just how many countries are there with their own satellites


Year of first launch

First satellite

Number of satellites

Soviet Union
( Russia) 1957
(1992) Sputnik 1
(Kosmos 2175) 1457
United States 1958 Explorer 1 1110
United Kingdom 1962 Ariel 1 30
Canada 1962 Alouette 1 34
Italy 1964 San Marco 1 22
France 1965 Astérix 57
Australia 1967 WRESAT 12
Germany 1969 Azur 42
Japan 1970 Ōsumi 134
China 1970 Dong Fang Hong I 140
Netherlands 1974 ANS 4
Spain 1974 Intasat 9
India 1975 Aryabhata 54
Indonesia 1976 Palapa A1 12
Czechoslovakia 1978 Magion 1 4
Bulgaria 1981 Intercosmos Bulgaria 1300 1
Saudi Arabia 1985 Arabsat-1A 12
Brazil 1985 Brasilsat A1 13
Mexico 1985 Morelos 1 7
Sweden 1986 Viking 11
Israel 1988 Ofeq 1 11
Luxembourg 1988 Astra 1A 5
Argentina 1990 Lusat 9
Pakistan 1990 Badr-1 3
South Korea 1992 Kitsat A 11
Portugal 1993 PoSAT-1 1
Thailand 1993 Thaicom 1 7
Turkey 1994 Turksat 1B 8
Ukraine 1995 Sich-1 6
Malaysia 1996 MEASAT 6
Norway 1997 Thor 2 3
Philippines 1997 Mabuhay 1 2
Egypt 1998 Nilesat 101 4
Chile 1998 FASat-Bravo 2
Singapore[35][36] 1998 ST-1 3
Taiwan 1999 ROCSAT-1 8
Denmark 1999 Ørsted 4
South Africa 1999 SUNSAT 2
United Arab Emirates 2000 Thuraya 1 6
Morocco 2001 Maroc-Tubsat 1
Algeria 2002 Alsat 1 1
Greece 2003 Hellas Sat 2 2
Cyprus 2003 Hellas Sat 2 2
Nigeria 2003 Nigeriasat 1 4
Iran 2005 Sina-1 1
Kazakhstan 2006 KazSat 1 2
Colombia 2007 Libertad 1 1
Mauritius 2007 Rascom-QAF 1 2
Vietnam 2008 Vinasat-1 3
Venezuela 2008 Venesat-1 2
Switzerland 2009 SwissCube-1[37] 2
Poland[38] 2012 PW-Sat 1
Hungary 2012 MaSat-1[39] 1[citation needed]
Romania 2012 Goliat[40] 1
Belarus 2012 BelKA-2 N/A
North Korea 2012 Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 1
Azerbaijan 2013 Azerspace[41] 1
Austria 2013 TUGSAT-1/UniBRITE[42][43] 2
Ecuador 2013 NEE-01 Pegaso 1
Estonia 2013 ESTCube-1 1
Jersey 2013 O3b-1,-2,-3,-4 4
Qatar 2013 Es'hailSat1 1
Peru 2013 PUCPSAT-1[44] 1
Bolivia 2013 TKSat-1 1
Lithuania 2014 LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1 2

31st Mar 2014, 07:06
Putin knows all about collecting satellites.

Worrals in the wilds
31st Mar 2014, 09:18
Jersey has a satellite? What does it do???

31st Mar 2014, 10:24
Jersey has a satellite? What does it do???

It broadcasts all the unredacted news about the Channel Islands Stock Exchange ;-)

31st Mar 2014, 14:24
Jersey has a satellite? What does it do???

Surveillance of their cow population.

31st Mar 2014, 14:29
It looks over sideways, and counts Beaufort1's puffins.

31st Mar 2014, 14:54
It looks over sideways,

Not much different from Jersey's population who keel over sideways.

OFSO - married to a Bean.