Low Earth Orbit

Low Earth Orbit (LEO), as opposed to high or medium Earth orbit, refers to near-circular orbits that extends from 180 km (approximately 110 miles) from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of approximately 2000 km or 1240 miles. Given that Earth’s atmosphere extends 10,000 km (6200 miles), satellites in LEO interact with the atmosphere.

Learn more

  1. Riebeek H. Catalog of Earth Satellite Orbits: Feature Articles. NASA Earth Observatory; 2009.
  2. Zell H. Earth’s Atmospheric Layers. 2015.