Communications satellite
A communications satellite (sometimes abbreviated to COMSAT) is an artificial satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

 stationed in space for the purpose of telecommunications. Modern communications satellites use a variety of orbits including geostationary orbit
Geostationary orbit
A geostationary orbit is a geosynchronous orbit directly above the Earth's equator , with a period equal to the Earth's rotational period and an orbital eccentricity of approximately zero. An object in a geostationary orbit appears motionless, at a fixed position in the sky, to ground observers...

s, Molniya orbit
Molniya orbit
Molniya orbit is a type of highly elliptical orbit with an inclination of 63.4 degrees, an argument of perigee of -90 degree and an orbital period of one half of a sidereal day...

s, other elliptical orbits and low (polar
Polar orbit
A polar orbit is an orbit in which a satellite passes above or nearly above both poles of the body being orbited on each revolution. It therefore has an inclination of 90 degrees to the equator...

 and non-polar) Earth orbits.

For fixed (point-to-point) services, communications satellites provide a microwave radio relay technology complementary to that of communication cables.