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Applications Technology Satellite, ATS-1


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Applications Technology Satellite, ATS-1

Collection Item Summary:

Launched in 1966, Applications Technology Satellite 1 (ATS 1) was the first in a series of six satellites sponsored by NASA to test out new technologies in space communications and, to a lesser extent, in meteorology and understanding the space environment. Positioned in geostationary orbits, these satellites primarily were intended to provide research and development support to the new industry of space communications.

Although designed to operate for only three years, ATS 1 continued working until 1985--an extraordinary 19 years. During much of its operational life, ATS 1 was used for communications to remote areas and facilitated the delivery of emergency medical services and educational programs in Alaska and the Pacific.

NASA transferred this artifact, a prototype built by Hughes Aircraft, to the Museum in 1976.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Transferred from NASA


  • Aluminum
  • Glass
  • Paint
  • Electrical Wiring
  • Gold Plating
  • Plastic
  • Asbestos
  • Synthetic Fabric


3-D: 144.8 x 142.2cm, 317.5kg (57 x 56 in., 700lb.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number