Encyclopedia Astronautica
ATS-3


American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1967.11.05, ATS 3. The goals for ATS-3 included investigations of spin stabilization techniques and VHF and C-band communications experiments.

In addition to fulfilling its primary mission, it also provided regular communications service to sites in the Pacific basin and Antarctica, provided emergency communications links during the 1987 Mexican earthquake and the Mt. St. Helens disaster, and supported the Apollo Moon landings. The satellite also provided the first color images from space as well as regular cloud cover images for meteorological studies. Spacecraft: Spin stabilized, drum solar array providing 175 W BOL, NiCd batteries. Payload: C-band and VHF communications packages, Earth imaging camera

AKA: Applications Technology Satellite.
Gross mass: 365 kg (804 lb).
Height: 1.50 m (4.90 ft).
First Launch: 1967.11.05.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • NSF American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. National Science Foundation, USA. More...
  • Hughes American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Hughes Aircraft Co. , USA More...

Associated Programs
  • ATS The Applications Technology Satellite was a project with the purpose of improving other satellites, specifically to enhance the ability of existing and future satellites to provide weather, and communications data and air/sea navigation aids. 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.
  • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 1998.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC12 Atlas launch complex. The complex was built for the Atlas ballistic missile program. Launch sites 11 to 14 were accepted between August 1957 and mid-April 1958. Complex 12 supported its first Atlas launch on 10 January 1958, and it supported nine Ranger missions and four Mariner missions between 12 August 1961 and 15 June 1967. Complexes 11, 12 and 14 were deactivated in 1967, and Complex 13 was deactivated in April 1978. More...

ATS-3 Chronology


1967 November 5 - . 23:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 5103 (AA25) / Agena D 6153.
  • ATS 3 - . Payload: ATS C. Mass: 365 kg (804 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: ATS. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: ATS-3. USAF Sat Cat: 3029 . COSPAR: 1967-111A. Apogee: 35,837 km (22,268 mi). Perigee: 35,736 km (22,205 mi). Inclination: 14.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Communications tests. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 45 deg W in-100 deg W in 1968-1970; over the Americas at 69 deg W in 1971-1976; over the Americas at 105 deg W in 1977-1998 As of 4 September 2001 located at 105.90 deg W drifting at 0.003 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 105.23W drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.

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