There are a variety of satellites that orbit our planet and are orbiting elsewhere in space. The satellites are produced and owned by many different companies. However, most of the companies that use the satellite technology do not actually launch the satellites themselves. There are a limited number of companies in the world that provide these launching services. We’ve listed them below.
Satellites are used heavily for communication. They transmit signals for television, radio, internet and phones. They are also used for global research, using imaging technology. Space research is another scientific use of satellites. The government is another entity that makes heavy use of satellite technology. They use satellites for intelligence gathering and defense.
- Orbital Sciences Corporation – This launch company has been in business since the 1980’s. It launches satellites of almost every type: communications, research, imaging, defense and intelligence
- SpaceX The first private owned company to successfully launch and recover a spacecraft, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation was founded by one of Paypal’s co-founders, Elon Musk. It has contracts with NASA for delivering supplies to the International Space Station and also launches several types of communication satellites.
- Indian Space Research Organisation The ISRO has the largest group of civilian based satellites in orbit today. They have launched not only India’s satellites but also satellites for many other countries as well, launching a total of over 30 satellites.
- Arianespace – A French company that has shareholders from ten different European companies. This launch facilitator had launched 50% of all the earth orbiting satellites, as per the 2004 statistics. It has several launch locations, and they are not limited to the European continent.
- Sea Launch – Owned by Boeing, this satellite launching company is the only ocean based satellite launch system. Its unique location and launching system enables it to assist its customers in creating a longer service life for its satellites.
- International Launch Services – This satellite launch service partners with Khrunichev State Research and Production Center, along with the Russian Federation government, to provide launching services that utilizes Russia’s heavy lift Proton rocket.
- United Launch Alliance This company has launch sites at Cape Canaveral and the Vandenberg Air Force Base. It is a joint venture between Lockheed and Boeing. They utilize the Atlas and Delta rockets. The Atlas rockets have been employed since the 1950’s