Encyclopedia Astronautica
CAT


European technology satellite. 5 launches, 1979.12.24 (CAT 1) to 1981.12.20 (Tech. capsule).

Principal mission of the technological capsule (with ballast), which was equipped with batteries having a lifetime of approximately 8 orbits, was to transmit back to earth technological data on the first developmental flight L01 of the Ariane launch vehicle.

When the batteries were exhausted, the capsule ended its radio transmissions, and it was then inoperative but still in orbit.

First Launch: 1979.12.24.
Last Launch: 1981.12.20.
Number: 5 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 1 French orbital launch vehicle. First version of the Ariane launch vehicle. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

CAT Chronology


1979 December 24 - . 17:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 L01.
  • CAT 1 - . Payload: CAT 01. Mass: 1,602 kg (3,531 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: CAT. Decay Date: 1982-11-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 11645 . COSPAR: 1979-104A. Apogee: 14,047 km (8,728 mi). Perigee: 125 km (77 mi). Inclination: 17.8000 deg. Period: 259.10 min. Launch vehicle test. Technological Capsule (CAT). ESA registration number: ESA/79/2. Principal mission of the technological capsule (with ballast), which was equipped with batteries having a lifetime of approximately 8 orbits, was to transmit back to earth technological data on the first developmental flight L01 of the ARIANE launch vehicle. When the batteries were exhausted, the capsule ended its radio transmissions, and it is now inoperative but still in orbit.

1980 May 23 - . 14:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 L02. FAILURE: Failure.
  • CAT - . Payload: CAT. Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Spacecraft: CAT. COSPAR: F800523G.

1981 June 19 - . 12:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 L03.
  • CAT 3 - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: CAT. USAF Sat Cat: 12546 . COSPAR: 1981-057C. Apogee: 26,528 km (16,483 mi). Perigee: 261 km (162 mi). Inclination: 10.7000 deg. Period: 461.20 min. Launch vehicle test payload. Technological capsule. ESA registration ESA/81/02. Launch time 1233:03 UT. The technological capsule, equipped with batteries for a lifetime of about six orbital revolutions, transmits to earth technological data about test flight L-03 of ARIANE. After di scharge of the battery the capsule will stop its transmissions and remain in orbit on inactive status. Frequency 136-138 MHz (transmission until 65h after launch only). Projected time of reentry 1986.

1981 December 20 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 L04.
  • Tech. capsule - . Payload: CAT/Thesee. Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: CAT. Decay Date: 1988-11-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 13025 . COSPAR: 1981-122C. Apogee: 36,051 km (22,401 mi). Perigee: 199 km (123 mi). Inclination: 10.6000 deg. Period: 636.00 min. Ariane L-04 technological capsule, ESA designator ESA/81/04. The technological capsule, equipped with batteries for a lifetime of about 6 orbital revolutions (65h), transmits to earth technological data about test flight L-04 of Ariane. After discharge of the battery the capsule will stop its transmissions and remain in orbit in an inactive status. Frequency 136-138 MHz, projected time of reentry before 1990.
  • CAT 4 - . Payload: MARECS 1 / CAT 4. Mass: 217 kg (478 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: CAT. USAF Sat Cat: 13011 . COSPAR: 1981-122B. Apogee: 30,744 km (19,103 mi). Perigee: 259 km (160 mi). Inclination: 10.4000 deg. Period: 536.80 min. Summary: Launch vehicle test payload. .

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