On 4 October 1957 the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. Since then, about 8,900 satellites from more than 40 countries have been launched. According to a 2018 estimate, some 5,000 remain in orbit. Of those about 1,900 were operational, while the rest have lived out their useful lives and become space debris. Approximately 63% of operational satellites are in low-Earth orbit, 6% are in medium-Earth orbit (at 20,000 km), 29% are in geostationary orbit (at 36,000 km) and the remaining 2% are in elliptic orbit. A few large space stations have been launched in parts and assembled in orbit. Over a dozen space probes have been placed into orbit around other bodies and become artificial satellites of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, a few asteroids, a comet and the Sun.