According to ESA's Space Debris Office, in almost 60 years of space activities, more than 5200 launches have placed some 7500 satellites into orbit, of which about 4300 remain in space; only a small fraction − about 1200 − are still operational today
Space Debris

Space debris by the numbers

The latest figures related to space debris, provided by ESA's Space Debris Office at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany.

Information correct as of January 2018


Number of rocket launches since the start of the space age in 1957:
About 5400 (excluding failures)

Number of satellites these rocket launches have placed into Earth orbit:
About 8650

Number of these still in space:
About 4700

Number of these still functioning:
About 1800

Number of debris objects regularly tracked by Space Surveillance Networks and maintained in their catalogue:
About 21 000

Estimated number of break-ups, explosions, collisions, or anomalous events resulting in fragmentation:
More than 500

Total mass of all space objects in Earth orbit:
More than 8100 tonnes

Number of debris objects estimated by statistical models to be in orbit:
29 000 objects >10 cm
750 000 objects from 1 cm to 10 cm
166 million objects from 1 mm to 1 cm
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