How many satellites were launched each decade?

Including satellites of Mars Moon Venus Sun etc

Similar question

Number of satellites launched per year?

Most busy times in space launches by decade?

  • $\begingroup$ @JonHeller - pinging for hopefully getting an nice scripted answer. I can put a bounty on it also $\endgroup$
    – Joe Jobs
    Nov 5, 2020 at 18:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ From meta FAQ click How do comment @replies work? From there you'll see that the "magic @" won't send a notification to someone unless they've already posted a comment here. Stack Exchange isn't wired for actual "pinging". However if you know of a post by another user (or a post with a comment by that user) that is related to this question, in Space SE it is usually considered acceptable to leave a short comment there mentioning this related new question. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 5, 2020 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


Number of satellites launched per decade:

------  ---------------
1950                 33
1960               2323
1970               4504
1980               5744
1990               3936
2000               2309
2010               2341

The results are once again from the JSR 2017 report and are based on this query:

--Satellites launched per decade (excluding debris).
select trunc(to_char(launch_date, 'YYYY')/10)*10 decade, count(*) satellite_count
from launch
join satellite
    on launch.launch_id = satellite.launch_id
where official_name not like 'deb %'
group by trunc(to_char(launch_date, 'YYYY')/10)*10
order by decade;

This answer provides information about how to run the query yourself. Hopefully that information is convenient enough that you can write queries and answer your own questions - let me know if the site is not working or if you have ideas for improving it.

  • $\begingroup$ Awesome again! Can you please do the same by year? space.stackexchange.com/questions/48375/… $\endgroup$
    – Joe Jobs
    Nov 6, 2020 at 3:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It might be worth noting that around half of that are marked as debris. According to the list I found 3462 alone are debris of [Fengyun-1C ](de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fengyun-1C) which arteficially inflates the number of satellites launched in 1990. Maybe you should filter out all satellites that start with "deb". $\endgroup$
    – Christoph
    Nov 6, 2020 at 8:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also bear in mind that many launches put up more than one satellite so even excluding the debris the number of actual satellites is a lot less than the number of launches. For example, on 18 August a single Falcon launch carried fifty-eight Starlink satellites and three SkySats. $\endgroup$
    – GordonD
    Nov 6, 2020 at 10:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Christoph Thank you for the suggestion. I removed 'deb %' from the results and the numbers look quite different now! $\endgroup$
    – Jon Heller
    Nov 6, 2020 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ Oops! I should have said in my comment above that the number of actual satellites is a lot MORE than the number of launches. Can't see how to edit it, but I'm sure you knew what I meant. $\endgroup$
    – GordonD
    Nov 7, 2020 at 11:43

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