• Question: How long are satellites usually in orbit for?

    Asked by anon-334797 to Aditya M on 10 Oct 2022.
    • Photo: Aditya Mandrekar

      Aditya Mandrekar answered on 10 Oct 2022:

      Great question! Small satellites are generally expected to last from 3 to 5 years. Larger ones can last for over 15 years. Satellites also lose their height every orbit by a very small amount, so they need to be corrected regularly to stay in the same orbit. Sometimes the life of a satellite is determined by how much fuel it can carry to keep correcting the orbit, once that fuel is over, the satellite will come back down by itself, and burn up in the atmosphere.