Satellite Tier List

Satellite Tier List

There are now over 10,000 satellites in orbit. They are not created equal. For the first time ever, T3T presents the definitive ranking of history’s most prominent satellites.

The criteria are:

  1. How innovative is it?
  2. Is it the first? Is it the only?
  3. How useful is it?
  4. Does it hold the fabric of society together? Has it changed the world as we know it? Is it responsible for saving millions of lives?
  5. Am I entertained by it for some other reason?

S Tier

1. We’ll get back to this later

2. Sputnik I

In 1957, it became the original satellite

Really cute

A Tier

1. Vostok I

Hosted the first human orbital spaceflight (of Yuri Gagarin)

Kind of does look like a mechanical bee

2. Misty

Alleged stealth spy satellite program - you may not like it, but this is the shape of peak performance

3. Hubble

A spy satellite that got distracted and gave us a couple of great desktop backgrounds

4. GPS

A useful king

The only way to get from your dorm to your first class


Helps prevent nuclear war

Like a warm blanket that keeps us safe

6. GOES Series

NOAA weather satellites

Believe it or not, some satellites that the US government claims are weather satellites are actually weather satellites

7. Landsat

Maps the Earth

B Tier

1. International Space Station

The pinnacle of diplomacy

Spend money to spend money

2. Tiangong

The only space station without chronic arthritis and liver spots

3. Iridium

The OG satellite constellation for communication

Starlink’s dad

4. Starlink

They are LEGION

5. CubeSats


The Golden Snitches of satellites

C Tier

1. True Anomaly (Jackal)

The Bludgers of satellites

Attack satellites funded by a US Senator which violate the Outer Space Treaty*

2. Kuiper

Amazon in-house ripoff of Starlink

3. Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1

North Korea claims this was launched successfully and definitely didn’t blow up on the launch pad, why would you even think that?

If so, has better stealth tech than Misty

But finally, S Tier Rank 1:


This sphere of Manchego cheese was made without harm to animals in a low-density, chilled environment. It inspired countless fantastical films like Mary Poppins (1964), Despicable Me (2010), Sailor Moon (1991 - 1997), and the Moon Landing (1969).

The Moon is Earth’s first and only natural satellite.

Advanced engineering has ensured that, unlike other satellites, the Moon can maintain its high orbit without the use of propulsion.

The Moon existed long before life on Earth and will live to see us leave our mossy rock for greater things or die trying.

*Oct 2023 edit on True Anomaly's Jackal: After doing more research, I think this is an unfair characterization. China and Russia have both demonstrated close approaches by satellites so Jackal isn't really breaking new ground in space offense (besides being from a private company). Also Jackal satellites will be tested operationally in space soon which is pretty cool!