Horizon Scanner, OGO Satellite


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is an engineering test model of a device flown aboard the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory (OGO) series of satellites, of which five were flown from 1964 through 1969. The device scanned and locked on to the Earth's horizon, by sensing infra-red radiation. It used that information to keep the satellite always pointing "down" (toward the center of the Earth), which was required for its mission. The devices were built by TRW Space Systems for the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, which managed the program.

NASA transferred this object to the Museum in 2007.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Gift of Bill Hibbard

Manufactured for

NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

Country of Origin

United States of America


  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Plastic
  • Nylon
  • Paper
  • Adhesive


8.89 x 5.4 x 4.13cm (3 1/2in. x 2 1/8in. x 1 5/8in.) (Approximate)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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



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