New Update to UCS Satellite Database

, senior scientist | September 12, 2015, 9:14 pm EDT
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An updated version of the UCS Satellite Database has just been posted. This update includes satellites launched through August 31, 2015. Currently, we tally 1305 actively operating satellites. (Reminder: a detailed discussion of what we mean by “active” can be found here.)

The changes to this version of the database include:

  • The addition of  85 satellites
  • The return to active status of 8 satellites
  • The deletion of 47 satellites
  • The addition of and corrections to some satellite data.

Here is the basic breakdown:

quick facts table 9-1-15

Posted in: Space and Satellites Tags: ,

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  • J_kies

    Given the database lists active satellites; how do you handle temporary events such as the 21 day Iranian satellite. Policy should take the transient, limited payload of such launchers seriously and the database serves as a root data source. If that’s a gap, could the database systematically handle such transient events?

  • Laura Grego

    Good question. The Database is designed to provide a picture of on-orbit capacity, not to catalog all launches, so in that sense it paints a fair picture of Iran’s space capability.

    A satellite with a three-week lifetime that went up and down in between updates would not appear and other resources, such as Jonathan McDowell’s database of launches, would be better to get a picture of everything that has been launched.

    As short-lived microsatellites become more prevalent, we are thinking about how to capture that information in a useful way.