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ATS-6 -

Credit: NASA. 24,501 bytes. 332 x 348 pixels.

Other Designations: Applications Technology Satellite. Class: Technology. Type: Communications. Nation: United States. Agency: NASA, NSF. Manufacturer: Fairchild.

In addition to its technology experiments, ATS-6 became the world's first educational satellite. During its 5 year life, ATS-6 transmitted educational programming to India, the US and other countries. The vehicle also conducted air traffic control tests, was used to practice satellite-assisted search and rescue techniques, carried an experimental radiometer subsequently carried as a standard instrument aboard weather satellites, and pioneered direct broadcast TV. The satellite also played a major role in the Apollo/Soyuz docking in 1975 when it relayed signals to the Houston Control centre. It was boosted above GEO when thruster failures threatened to prevent further control of the spacecraft. Spacecraft: 9 m diameter deployed antenna reflector. Pointing accuracy 0.1 deg.2 half cylinder drum arrays on booms provide 645 W BOL.3 axis stabilised. Payload: VHRR (Very High Resolution Radiometer) instrument, millimetre wave propagation experiment, L-band communications package, C-band communication equipment


Design Life: 2 years. Total Length: 8.5 m. Total Mass: 930 kg.

ATS-6 Chronology

30 May 1974 ATS 6 Program: ATS. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. Mass: 930 kg. Perigee: 35,184 km. Apogee: 35,444 km. Inclination: 13.1 deg.

Application Technology Satellite; experimental commsat. - Also conducted Cesium ion engine test.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .