With Rocketlab planning a weekly launch, that’s a lot of satellites in space. But like Douglas Adams says, space is big, really big. Think of it like launching a dingy into the Pacific. Here are three facts to comfort you (or not):
6,600 satellites have been launched, 3600 remain in orbit, 1000 are operational
There are three levels of orbit: lower (where Rocketlab's small payloads are headed), middle (where GPS satellites sit) and geosynchronous (the space station)
At the end of their functioning lives, satellites are either left to orbit or shifted to a graveyard orbit, higher in space. Only about third ever successfully attain such a dignified end. The rest are classified as junk. And yes, space junk has crashed into other satellites with disastrous effects.