New Quarterly Update to the UCS Satellite Database

March 13, 2015 | 6:00 am
Laura Grego
Research Director, Senior Scientist

A new version of the UCS Satellite Database, which includes launches through January 31, 2015, has been posted at and includes 1265 active satellites.


satellite database 3-15


We have also added two new columns to the database which we hope will be useful:

  • Country/Organization of UN Registry. This indicates the country that is registered as responsible for the satellite in the United Nations Register of Space Objects, the designated “launching state” as indicated in the Convention on Objects Launched into Outer Space. As the ownership and operational control of commercial satellites continues to become more complicated, with international consortia buying and leasing them, it has become increasingly difficult to provide an unambiguous entry for the “Country of Owner/Operator” column and this information provides another piece of that picture.
  • Detailed Purpose. This column gives a more specific description of the function of the satellite. For example, for satellites with “Earth Observation” in the “Purpose” column, “Detailed Purpose” may indicate, for example, “Optical Imaging,” “Electronic Intelligence,” or “Meterology”. This column is a work in progress and we will continue to add to it in future database updates.