PARIS — Nineteen large geostationary-orbit satellites reached the end of their service lives in 2017, with 16 of them being sent into higher graveyard orbits in keeping with international debris-mitigation guidelines, according to an annual survey by the European Space Agency (ESA).
The three others, owned by Japanese and Russian groups, are stranded in the GEO belt, eventually joining hundreds of other long-dead satellites that meander along the most-used orbital highway.
An 84% compliance rate for post-mission disposal counts nonetheless as a good year in . . .
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