Low Earth Orbit

A low Earth orbit is an orbit around Earth with a period of 128 minutes or less and an eccentricity less than 0.25. Most of the artificial objects in outer space are in LEO, with an altitude never more than about one-third of the radius of Earth. The term LEO region is also used for the area of space below an altitude of 2,000 km. Objects in orbits that pass through this zone, even if they have an apogee further out or are sub-orbital, are carefully tracked since they present a collision risk to the many LEO satellites. All crewed space stations to date have been within LEO. From 1968 to 1972, the Apollo program's lunar missions sent humans beyond LEO. Since the end of the Apollo program, no human spaceflights have been beyond LEO.

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Should Low Earth Orbit be a protected environmental ecosystem?

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