Let's take a look up and assess some of the advanced technology in orbit and the diverse tasks of those satellites.
The asteroid hunter
Canadian scientists are developing a microsatellite they say will detect and track asteroids and comets as well as other satellites.
The suitcase-sized Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) will twist and turn hundreds of times each day, orbiting from pole to pole every 50 minutes and almost always in sunlight.
The telescope has a sunshade that allows searching the sky to within 45 degrees of the Sun, a part of the sky difficult or impossible to observe from the ground, but where near-Earth asteroids are concentrated, researchers said.
NASA gets small
NASA says large groups of nanosatellites can be grouped in a constellation that will be placed in low Earth orbit to offer new telecommunications and networking systems and services.
NASA and m2mi will develop what they call fifth-generation telecommunications and networking systems for TCP/IP-based networks and related services.
NEXT PAGE: The US FAA's satellite system