Low Earth orbit: Definition, theory and facts

In very simple terms, low Earth orbit (LEO) is exactly what it sounds like: An orbit around the Earth with an altitude that lies towards the lower end of the range of possible orbits. This is around 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) or less. The majority of satellites are to be found in LEO, as is the International Space Station (ISS).

In order to remain in this orbit, a satellite has to travel at around 17,500 miles per hour (7.8 kilometers per second), at which speed it takes around 90 minutes to complete an orbit of the planet. 

Low Earth orbit theory

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