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Above the clouds

More than 7.500 satellites fly over the earth at altitudes between 200 and 36.000 kilometers, some are on the way on behalf of African countries.

Satellites are currently orbiting the earth.

A good 64 years ago, on October 5, 1957, the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, reached Earth orbit. What began as a sensation back then in the Kazakh steppe is quite normal today: More than 7.500 satellites (as of August 2021) fly over the earth at heights between 200 and 36.000 kilometers and perform a wide range of services for research, military and commercial purposes. Above-ground traffic is also increasing rapidly: Companies such as SpaceX and OneWeb are already busy sending tens of thousands of satellites into space in order to also supply remote parts of the world with the Internet. 

In 2021 alone, exactly 1.499 satellites were put into orbit. The currently 7.613 artificial objects in orbit come from the USA, Russia and China, among others. India, Argentina and Brazil are also present at the top.

Africa is also present above the clouds, even if no African country has the infrastructure to send satellites into space itself. “Nile Sat 101” was the name of the first African satellite that Italy built for Egypt and that took off in 1998 in French Guiana. According to "The Africa Report", 44 African satellites are orbiting the earth today, and another 20 are expected to join shortly. The latest projects include Tunisia's “Challenge One” satellite, which is supposed to facilitate internet services, as well as “Simba” for species protection in Kenya.

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