Encyclopedia Astronautica
SPOT


Systeme Probatoire pour l'Observation de la Terre - French remote sensing satellite network.

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane 1 French orbital launch vehicle. First version of the Ariane launch vehicle. More...
  • Ariane 40 French orbital launch vehicle. 3 stage core vehicle with original Ariane H10 upper stage. A fully fueled Ariane core cannot lift off the ground without strap-on liquid or solid motors. When Ariane 4 is launched in this configuration, the propellant tanks of the first and second stages are not completely filled. More...
  • Ariane 42P French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CNES French agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Paris, France. More...

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...

SPOT Chronology


1986 February 22 - . 01:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 V16.
  • SPOT 1 - . Payload: Spot 1 / Viking. Mass: 1,830 kg (4,030 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Program: SPOT. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: SPOT-1-2-3. USAF Sat Cat: 16613 . COSPAR: 1986-019A. Apogee: 826 km (513 mi). Perigee: 824 km (512 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.40 min. Summary: Remote sensing satellite. Registration 1986-1.B.

1990 January 22 - . 01:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 40. LV Configuration: Ariane 40 V35.
  • SPOT 2 - . Mass: 1,870 kg (4,120 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Program: SPOT. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: SPOT-1-2-3. USAF Sat Cat: 20436 . COSPAR: 1990-005A. Apogee: 826 km (513 mi). Perigee: 825 km (512 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.40 min. Summary: Remote sensing. Earth observation satellite. Registration 1990-1-B..

1993 September 26 - . 01:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 40. LV Configuration: Ariane 40 V59.
  • SPOT 3 - . Payload: Spot 3. Mass: 1,907 kg (4,204 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Program: SPOT. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: SPOT-1-2-3. USAF Sat Cat: 22823 . COSPAR: 1993-061A. Apogee: 823 km (511 mi). Perigee: 821 km (510 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.30 min. Summary: Remote sensing..

1998 March 24 - . 01:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 40. LV Configuration: Ariane 40-3 V107.
  • SPOT 4 - . Mass: 2,755 kg (6,073 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: SPOT. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: SPOT-4. USAF Sat Cat: 25260 . COSPAR: 1998-017A. Apogee: 826 km (513 mi). Perigee: 824 km (512 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.40 min. Developed by Matra Marconi Space/Toulouse for CNES, the satellite provided 10-m resolution images with a wide field of view. SPOT 4 also carried a wide field 'vegetation' imager and a laser communications experiment. Launch was by an Arianespace Ariane 40 rocket, the base Ariane 4 model with no strap-on boosters. The liquid hydrogen fuelled third stage of the Ariane 40 entered an 800 km sun-synchronous orbit together with SPOT 4.

2002 May 4 - . 01:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42P. LV Configuration: Ariane 42P-3 V151.
  • SPOT 5 - . Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Manufacturer: Friedrichshafen. Program: SPOT. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: SPOT-5A-5B. USAF Sat Cat: 27421 . COSPAR: 2002-021A. Apogee: 826 km (513 mi). Perigee: 825 km (512 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.40 min. Remote Sensing satellite. Last launch of Ariane 42P version. Launch delayed from April 10. The Ariane 42P, with two PAP solid boosters, flew north from Kourou. The third stage burn occurred off the east coast of North America, with engine cutoff at 0150 UTC and stage separation at 0151 UTC. Venting of the remaining third stage propellant was seen by observers in the US. SPOT Image's SPOT 5 was built by Astrium/Toulouse. The main instrument was the HRVIR imaging camera payload including a 2.5-meter resolution imager. A secondary experiment was the 5-band VEGETATION-2 instrument with 1-km resolution.

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