DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Communications satellite. Artwork of an Intelsat communications satellite orbiting the Earth. Several series of the Intelsat satellites were built and placed into orbit in the 1990s, with the launch of the 8-series bringing the total fleet size to 19. The latest Intelsat 9 satellites are due to be launched in 2001. The satellites provide an increasingly sophisticated broadcast service of communication channels to all areas of the globe. They operate from a geostationary orbit 35,900 kilometres above the Earth. This allows them to rotate with the Earth, remaining stationary above the same point on the Earth's surface.
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