Jan 9, 2020, 11:49am EST | Elon Musk’s 42,000 StarLink Satellites Could Just Save The World. Despite a pandemic, the space industry had a big year in 2020, thanks to some fortunate timing and a lifeline from the US government. The surge in commercial space operations has increased access to satellite services for all, and fuelled a start-up race for new entrants to the market. As of November 13, 2020, there were a total of 30 operational satellites in the GPS constellation, not including the decommissioned, on-orbit spares. Have you ever wondered how many satellites orbit the Earth? SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink internet satellites, pushes total to nearly 500. Orbital debris, or space junk, can drift for many years and is a potential hazard for other satellites. The space age began on October 4, 1957 with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. Satellites are tracked by United States Space Surveillance Network (), which has been tracking every object in orbit over 10 cm (3.937 inches) in diameter since it was founded in 1957.There are approximately 3,000 satellites operating in Earth orbit, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (), out of roughly 8,000 man-made objects in total. This was SpaceX's sixth launch of 2020. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which maintains a database of active satellites in orbit, as of April 1, 2020, there were a total of 2,666 satellites in Space, of which 1,918 were in low Earth orbit (LEO). And this is only till April. Similarly atmospheric friction and gravitational forces are likely to influence orbital position. As such this app will not display satellites launched since then or reflect intentionally or unintentionally orbital adjustments. SpaceX has launched 120 Starlink satellites this year and, over the next few weeks, plans to launch another 120 satellites. Earlier this year we wrote about our latest update on the number of satellites orbiting the Earth. This idea of in-space servicing has long been dreamt of, but it is now becoming a reality. One of the sources of this data is the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) who have just released their latest update showing the number of active satellites orbiting the Earth.. SpaceX. For more up-to-date constellation status information, visit the NAVCEN website. It is important to note that satellite positions are derived from an ephemeris database downloaded in July 14, 2020. SpaceX has successfully launched its latest batch of 60 Starlink satellites, raising its total number of Starlink satellites … By William Harwood June 4, 2020 / 10:20 AM / CBS News But the rush to get more hardware into orbit does have its disadvantages. 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