Space Exploration and Satellites

Space exploration and the study of outer space have fascinated humans for centuries. In recent decades, we have significantly advanced our understanding of the universe and our place within it. Space travel and exploration have opened up new frontiers and possibilities for humanity, from the first manned mission to the moon in 1969 to the ongoing efforts to send humans to Mars.

In addition to manned missions, we have also sent satellites into orbit around the Earth. These satellites serve various purposes that have revolutionized our lives, including communication, weather forecasting, surveillance, and environmental monitoring.

But, as our presence in space has increased, so has the issue of pollution. Our many launches into space have created debris, including abandoned rocket stages, old satellites, and other discarded equipment. This debris poses a significant risk to future space exploration, as it can collide with and damage functioning satellites or even endanger astronauts on space missions. This is an ongoing challenge that will require continued research and innovation to solve.

This page provides data and visualizations on space exploration, satellites, space pollution, and astronomical research.

Interactive Charts on Space Exploration and Satellites

Cite this work

Our articles and data visualizations rely on work from many different people and organizations. When citing this topic page, please also cite the underlying data sources. This topic page can be cited as:

Edouard Mathieu and Max Roser (2022) - “Space Exploration and Satellites” Published online at Retrieved from: '' [Online Resource]

BibTeX citation

    author = {Edouard Mathieu and Max Roser},
    title = {Space Exploration and Satellites},
    journal = {Our World in Data},
    year = {2022},
    note = {}
Our World in Data logo

Reuse this work freely

All visualizations, data, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.

The data produced by third parties and made available by Our World in Data is subject to the license terms from the original third-party authors. We will always indicate the original source of the data in our documentation, so you should always check the license of any such third-party data before use and redistribution.

All of our charts can be embedded in any site.