An updated version of the UCS Satellite Database is now posted. The new version includes launches through August 31, 2011. The database is freely available and can be downloaded in various formats.
The total number of active satellites is holding steady at 965; although 35 satellites were launched this last quarter, we were able to confirm that a large number of Globalstar satellites are on their way or are already in disposal orbits.
In July, Kazakhstan’s second-ever satellite reached orbit. In August, Nigeria’s third and fourth satellites were launched. One of these, NigeriaSat-X, was the product of a training program of 26 Nigerian engineers at the Surrey Satellite Limited company in the UK, and is being hailed as the first satellite to be designed and built by Africans. (While over 50 countries own satellites, often those satellites are designed, built, and operated for them by others.)