How are satellites put into orbit and how often does this happen?



More satellite questions if anyone has the time to answer… Just basing these questions on some “space junk” animation that I once saw. I was stargazing recently and spotted a satellite – which is pretty common. But not nearly common enough to correlate with all the space junk out there. Do most satellite just not have lights? And is that stuff always colliding together? Seems like that would be inevitable unless there’s some master orbit plan that keeps everything in its own lane up there.

In: Physics

Satellites very rarely, if ever, have lights. What you see is the sun reflecting off their solar panels or metal bodies

They are launched very frequently. For example, spacex sometimes has multiple satellite launches each month.

Satellites are launched often and sometimes, like with starlink, over a hundred can be launched at once. Most of the space trash in orbit is very small, most trash is less than 1 cm across. The light is just the sun reflecting off the satellite, no lights on the satellite.

Some satellites are put into geostationary orbit (35,785KM) others are put into low earth orbit (160-2000km). They are launched from a rocket up to whatever orbit it needs. See [this]( image for an example of how orbits are launched

They’re launched on rockets. This happens all the time. It’s not uncommon to have over 100 launches per year between private companies and the various space agencies of different countries.

Satellites don’t have lights, when you see a satellite, you’re seeing the sunlight reflecting off the satellite (usually the solar panels). And generally no, except on rare occasions, large pieces of debris do not collide with each other or with operations satellites. These large pieces of debris are tracked and satellites can (usually) maneuver to avoid them. Eventually, most debris in low Earth obit reenters the atmosphere and burns up. Smaller pieces of debris (things a few mm in size) are too small to be tracked and they collide with stuff all the time.

Space junk animations are not to scale. Space is flippin huge and satellites are small compared to space. Even buss sized satellites are small compared to how much room there is. Plus satellites are at different altitudes. In fact you could spend your while life on a satellite and never see another satellite.