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Applications Technology Satellite (ATS)

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Status: Completed
Mission Category: Historical Missions
Launch Date: December 7, 1966
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral, FL

The Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) series was conceived of as a follow-on to the successful experimental communications satellites of the early 1960s with the addition of other technology demonstrations, such as weather observation and investigation of the space environment.

NASA and Hughes had hoped to continue the success of the Syncom project with an Advanced Syncom. They met resistance from some members of Congress who feared that NASA was developing technology for the benefit of a private company, namely Comsat. So the project’s objectives were broadened and it became ATS. The Department of Defense (DoD) influenced NASA to include technology for gravity-gradient stabilization (on ATS-2, ATS-4, and ATS-5) and for medium-altitude orbits (ATS-2). All five of the first generation ATS spacecraft carried a C-band transponder with 25 MHz bandwidth capable of relaying 1200 one-way voice circuits or one color television signal.

Key Applications Technology Satellite Facts

Mission/Portal Page:
Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Weather

Related Applications:

  • Weather Prediction