Encyclopedia Astronautica
Sun synchronous orbit


Category of spacecraft.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • AFP-43 American military technology satellite. 4 launches, 1964.01.19 (OPS 3367A) to 1964.06.18 (OPS 4467B). Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology. More...
  • Nimbus American earth weather satellite. 8 launches, 1964.08.28 (Nimbus 1) to 1978.10.13 (Nimbus 7). More...
  • DMSP Block 4A American earth weather satellite. 13 launches, 1965.01.19 (DMSP-Block-4A F1) to 1969.07.23 (DMSP-Block-4A F13). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • TOS American earth weather satellite. 7 launches, 1966.10.02 (ESSA 3) to 1969.02.26 (ESSA 9). TOS spacecraft marked the first operational system of US polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. More...
  • ITOS American earth weather satellite. 8 launches, 1970.01.23 (ITOS 1) to 1976.07.29 (NOAA 5). ITOS was the follow-on to the TIROS series of polar-orbiting US weather satellites, and marked the beginning of the use of the NOAA designator. More...
  • SERT American ion engine technology satellite. One launch, 1970.02.04. Electric ion engine tests. More...
  • DMSP Block 5A American earth weather satellite. 3 launches, 1970.02.11 (DMSP-Block-5A F1) to 1971.02.17 (DMSP Block 5A F3). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • TOPO American earth geodetic satellite. One launch, 1970.04.08. US Army topographic / geodesic satellite launched in 1970. More...
  • DMSP Block 5B American earth weather satellite. 5 launches, 1971.10.14 (DMSP-Block-5B F1) to 1974.03.16 (DMSP-Block-5B F5). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • TD-1A European technology satellite. One launch, 1972.03.12. Sixth satellite of ESRO. More...
  • Landsat 1-2-3 American earth land resources satellite. 3 launches, 1972.07.23 (Landsat 1) to 1978.03.05 (Landsat 3). The first 3 Landsat missions were also known as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) series. More...
  • Radsat American military technology satellite. One launch, 1972.10.02. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology. More...
  • Miranda British technology satellite. One launch, 1974.03.09. Satellite technology. Anticipated life: longer than 50 years. More...
  • DMSP Block 5C American earth weather satellite. 3 launches, 1974.08.09 (DMSP-Block-5C F1) to 1976.02.19 (DMSP-Block-5C F3). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • Intasat Spanish communications technology satellite. One launch, 1974.11.15. Spanish communications satellite. More...
  • P 76 American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1976.05.22. Communications propagation experiments. More...
  • DMSP Block 5D American earth weather satellite. 5 launches, 1976.09.11 (AMS 1) to 1980.07.15 (AMS 5). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • PIX American technology satellite. One launch, 1978.03.05. Plasma Interaction Experiment. More...
  • AEM American earth atmosphere satellite. One launch, 1978.04.26, HCMM. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission; produced thermal maps of atmosphere. Studied dust, liquid droplets in upper atmosphere. More...
  • CAMEO American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1978.10.13. Released barium cloud. More...
  • Tiros N American earth weather satellite. 6 launches, 1978.10.13 (Tiros N) to 2002.06.24 (NOAA 17). Tiros N was part of the ongoing US series of polar-orbiting weather satellites. These were preceded by the TIROS series and the ITOS (Improved TIROS) series. More...
  • Resurs-OE Russian earth land resources satellite. 2 launches, 1980.06.18 (Meteor 1-30) to 1983.07.24 (Cosmos 1484). Modified Meteor; prototype for Resurs-O1. More...
  • SME American solar satellite. One launch, 1981.10.06. The Solar Mesosphere Explorer satellite was developed to investigate the processes that create and destroy ozone in the Earth's upper atmosphere. More...
  • MicroSat SSTL British technology satellite. 3 launches, 1981.10.06 (CERISE) to 1990.01.22 (Oscar 14). Original version of the Surrey Microsat bus. More...
  • Landsat 4-5 American earth land resources satellite. 2 launches, 1982.07.16 (Landsat 4) to 1984.03.01 (Landsat 5). More...
  • DMSP Block 5D-2 American earth weather satellite. 9 launches, 1982.12.21 (AMS 5) to 1997.04.04 (USA 131). DMSP 5D-2 was the military's sixth generation of weather satellites. More...
  • IRAS American infrared astronomy satellite. 2 launches, 1983.01.26 (IRAS) and (PIX 2). All-sky survey of astronomical IR bodies. More...
  • Energia Ozone Replenishment Satellite Russian earth environment satellite. Study 1984. The eroding ozone layer of the earth would be replenished using a constellation of space-based lasers that would bombard the stratosphere at 30 km altitude for 30 years. More...
  • Energia Polar City Illuminator Russian earth environment satellite. Study 1984. The Energia launch vehicle could be used to launch 100 orbital reflectors to provide light to cities located in the polar regions. More...
  • Energia Control Sat Russian military surveillance satellite. Study 1984. This satellite would consist of a 33 metric ton equipment bus and a 17 metric ton rocket stage. It would be placed in a 600 km / 97 degree orbit for arms control and environment monitoring. More...
  • Resurs-O1 Russian earth land resources satellite. 4 launches, 1985.10.03 (Cosmos 1689) to 1998.07.10 (Resurs-O1 No. 4). A decree of 5 May 1977 authorized development of three earth resource satellites. More...
  • SPOT-1-2-3 French earth land resources satellite. 3 launches, 1986.02.22 (SPOT 1) to 1993.09.26 (SPOT 3). SPOT was the French government-sponsored civil earth observation program, with support from Belgium and Sweden. More...
  • Marine Observation Satellite Japanese earth sea satellite. 2 launches, 1987.02.19 (MOS-1) to 1990.02.07 (MOS-1b). The MOS 1A and 1B satellites, also known as Momo 1A and 1B, were Japan's first Earth resources satellites. More...
  • IRS Indian Remote Sensing Satellite. Operational, first launch 1988.03.17. Remote sensing of the Earth for natural resources management applications. More...
  • FY-1 Chinese earth weather satellite. 4 launches, 1988.09.06 (FY-1A) to 2002.05.15 (SJ-6A). The Feng Yun 1 meteorological satellites were launched into sun-synchronous 900 km, 99 deg inclination orbits by CZ-4 boosters from Taiyuan. More...
  • COBE American infrared astronomy satellite. One launch, 1989.11.18. More...
  • SARA French radio astronomy satellite. One launch, 1991.07.17. Radioastronomy. More...
  • Tubsat German communications technology satellite. 7 launches, 1991.07.17 (Tubsat-A) to 2007.01.10 (Maroc-Tubsat). Germany's Technical University of Berlin (TUB) built a successful series of 40 kg 'Tubsat' experimental technology satellites. More...
  • ERS 1-2 European earth resources radar satellite. 2 launches, 1991.07.17 (ERS 1) to 1995.04.21 (ERS 2). The primary mission of Europe's ERS-1 and -2 was to perform remote sensing of the Earth's oceans, ice caps, and coastal regions. More...
  • JERS Japanese earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1992.02.11. JERS-1 (Japanese Research Satellite-1; FUYO-1) was Japan's second Earth observation satellite. More...
  • Improved Crystal American military surveillance satellite. Operational, first launch 1992.11.28. Improved CRYSTAL was an optical reconnaissance satellite built for the US National Reconnaissance Office. Prime contractor was thought to be Lockheed. More...
  • Kitsat South Korean technology satellite. 2 launches, 1993.09.26 (Oscar 23) to 1999.05.26 (Kitsat-3). South Korean indigenous 50-kg-class small satellite series, developed originally with technology transfer from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. More...
  • STELLA French earth geodetic satellite. One launch, 1993.09.26. Laser reflectors. More...
  • Landsat 6 American earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1993.10.05. Landsat 6 was designed to continue the Landsat program and carried an improved suite of instruments. More...
  • Clark American earth atmosphere satellite. Cancelled in 1998 when overruns had reached 20% of original price and no end to development was in sight. More...
  • Gurwin Israeli technology satellite. 2 launches, 1995.03.28 (Gurwin 1) and 1998.07.10 (Gurwin Techsat 1B). Gurwin satellites were built by the Technion Institute of Technology, Israel. More...
  • LBSAT Spanish communications technology satellite. One launch, 1995.07.07, UPM/LBSAT 1. Universidad Politecnia de Madrid Satellite; experimental communications, microgravity experiments. More...
  • Helios 1A-1B French military surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 1995.07.07 (Helios 1A) to 1999.12.03 (Helios 1B). Helios 1A an 1B were advanced French military surveillance satellites which were widely believed to have 1 meter resolution capability. More...
  • MicroSat-100 British microsatellite bus. 9 launches, 1995.07.07 (CERISE) to 2009.07.29. Enlarged version of the basic Surrey Microsat bus. More...
  • SURFSAT-1 American technology satellite. One launch, 1995.11.04, SURFSAT. SURFSAT-1 was a small satellite built by undergraduate college students and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to support experiments by NASA's Deep Space Network. More...
  • Radarsat Canadian earth resources radar satellite. Two launches, 1995.11.04 (Radarsat) and 2007.12.14 (Radarsat). Canada's Radarsat was a radar satellite featuring variable resolution, and different view angles at a number of preset positions. More...
  • Skipper Russian technology satellite. One launch, 1995.12.28. Aerobraking investigation; satellite provided by Russia, instruments by Utah State University; solar array shorted immediately following deployment and ended mission. More...
  • MSX American military strategic defense satellite. One launch, 1996.04.24. More...
  • TOMS-EP American earth atmosphere satellite. One launch, 1996.07.02. More...
  • ADEOS Japanese earth atmosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1996.08.17 (ADEOS) and 2002.12.14 (Adeos 2). The polar orbiting ADEOS spacecraft was to perform Earth, atmospheric, and oceanographic remote sensing. More...
  • Fuji Japanese amateur radio communications satellite. One launch, 1996.08.17, JAS-2. Japanese amateur radio satellite. More...
  • Zeya Russian earth geodetic satellite. One launch, 1997.03.04. The Zeya satellite was used for navigation and geodesy tests from a sun-synchronous orbit. More...
  • Orbview-2 American civilian surveillance satellite. One launch, 1997.08.01. The SeaStar satellite carries the SeaWiFS instrument which was designed to monitor the color of the world's oceans. More...
  • Lewis American earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1997.08.23. Lewis was selected in the NASA SSTI (Small Spacecraft Technology Initiative) program, along with Clark, to demonstrate advanced spacecraft technologies. More...
  • Early Bird American civilian surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 1997.12.24 (Early Bird) and 2000.11.20 (QuickBird 1). Civilian earth resources / intelligence photo-imaging program. More...
  • Teledesic American communications satellite. One launch, 1998.02.26. The Teledesic system was announced in 2004, and was to have provided global communication links via a constellation of 288 LEO spacecraft. More...
  • SNOE American technology satellite. One launch, 1998.02.26. More...
  • SPOT-4 French earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1998.03.24, SPOT 4. SPOT was the French government-sponsored civil earth observation program. A single SPOT satellite provides complete coverage of the Earth every 26 days. More...
  • TRACE American solar satellite. One launch, 1998.04.02. TRACE, carried a 30-cm extreme ultraviolet imaging telescope for studies of the sun. Lockheed was the lead contractor while the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory made the telescope mirrors. More...
  • Safir German civilian store-dump communications satellite. One launch, 1998.07.10. Relay satellite built by OHB System of Bremen. More...
  • ARGOS American ion engine technology satellite. One launch, 1999.02.23. ARGOS was the USAF Space Test Program P91-1 technology satellite by Boeing/Seal Beach. More...
  • WIRE American infrared astronomy satellite. One launch, 1999.03.05. WIRE was designed to survey the celestial sky in the infrared bands and build on the results of the IRAS mission. More...
  • Landsat 7 American earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1999.04.15. More...
  • Ikonos American civilian surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 1999.04.27 (Ikonos 1) and 1999.09.24 (Ikonos). The first high resolution commercial imaging satellite. More...
  • TERRIERS American earth ionosphere satellite. One launch, 1999.05.18. More...
  • QuikScat American earth sea satellite. One launch, 1999.06.20. Built under a NASA rapid delivery contract. Carried the SeaWinds scatterometer for remote sensing of ocean winds. More...
  • Okean-O Ukrainian earth resources radar satellite. One launch, 1999.07.17. More...
  • ZY Chinese earth land resources satellite. 6 launches, 1999.10.14 (ZY-1) to 2007.09.19 (ZY-2C). From 1985 China and Brazil jointly developed a sun synchronous imaging satellite bus, the Zi Yuan-1 (Resouce-1) based on the Shi Jian 3 design. More...
  • SACI Brazilian technology satellite. 2 launches, 1999.10.14 (SACI 1) and 1999.12.11 (SACI-2). INPE experimental scientific satellites; carried a magnetometer, particle detectors and an atmospheric experiment. More...
  • DMSP Block 5D-3 American earth weather satellite. 4 launches, 1999.12.12 (USA 147) to 2009-10-18. Military spacecraft similar in design to the civilian NOAA weather satellites. More...
  • Terra American earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1999.12.18. NASA's Terra satellite (originally known as Earth Observing System EOS AM-1) was the first spacecraft in the EOS program. More...
  • KOMPSAT South Korean communications technology satellite. One launch, 1999.12.21. KOMPSAT was the first joint spacecraft development project for the South Korean aerospace agency KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute). More...
  • ACRIMSAT American solar satellite. One launch, 1999.12.21. The NASA ACRIMSAT satellite was managed by JPL, and measured the integrated solar energy output from 0.2 to 2 microns. ACRIMSAT was built by Orbital Sciences. More...
  • MTI American military surveillance satellite. One launch, 2000.03.12. The Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI) was a space-based research and development project sponsored by the U. More...
  • SNAP British technology satellite. One launch, 2000.06.28. Basic Surrey Nanosat bus. More...
  • SPOT-5A-5B French earth land resources satellite. Two launches, 2002.05.04, 2009.12.18. SPOT was the French government sponsored civil Earth observation program. A single SPOT satellite provided complete coverage of the Earth every 26 days. More...
  • Aqua American earth sea satellite. One launch, 2002.05.04. Aqua was also designated the EOS-PM Earth Observing System satellite, joining EOS-AM/Terra. The CERES and MODIS instruments aboard Aqua were also carried on the Terra satellite. More...
  • Aura American earth atmosphere satellite. One launch, 2004.07.15. Earth Observing System (EOS) Aura was a NASA mission to study the Earth's ozone, air quality and climate. More...
  • SJ-6 Chinese military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Operational, first launch 2004.09.08. More...
  • Myriade Micro-satellite product line developed jointly by EADS Astrium and the French Space Agency CNES beginning in 1998. Operational, first launch 2004.12.18. More...
  • Helios 2 French military surveillance satellite. One launch, 2004.12.18. French military surveillance satellite series which began service in 2004. More...
  • MS-1 Ukrainian earth land resources satellite. 2 launches, 2004.12.24 (Mikron) to 2007.04.17 (MisrSat 1). Ukrainian microsatellite bus that could be equipped with imaging or other scientific or technical equipment. More...
  • Yaogan Chinese synthetic aperture radar military surveillance radar and ELINT satellite. Operational, first launch 2006.04.26. More...
  • Cloudsat American earth weather satellite. One launch, 2006.04.28. More...
  • Calipso American earth weather satellite. One launch, 2006.04.28. More...
  • KOMPSAT-2 South Korean civilian surveillance satellite. One launch, 2006.07.28, Kompsat 2. More...
  • Metop European earth weather satellite. One launch, 2006.10.19. MetOp was Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. More...
  • Mesbah Iranian technology satellite. Study 2006. Technology satellite with imaging and communications payloads. Planned as the operational payload of the Iranian Shahab-3 orbital launch vehicle. The satellite would be cube-shaped, 50 cm on a side. More...
  • Cosmo-SkyMed Italian military surveillance radar satellite. Constellation of four satellites launched 2007.06.08 - 2010.11.06. More...
  • WorldView American civilian surveillance satellite. First launch 2007.09.18. DigitalGlobe's WorldView satellite provided highly detailed imagery for precise map creation, change detection and in-depth image analysis. More...
  • Ibuki Japanese earth atmosphere satellite. One launch, 2009.01.23. Greenhouse Gas Observing Satellite, renamed Ibuki after launch. More...
  • Arirang South Korean civilian surveillance satellite. Study 2015. South Korean indigenously-designed, multipurpose 1500 kg sun-synchronous orbit satellite, to be lofted by KSLV-III by 2015. More...

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