Collection Item Summary:
Launched in June 1978, Seasat 1 was the first satellite designed to monitor and study the oceans globally. In addition to acquiring basic data, the satellite helped establish the requirements for an operational oceans monitoring system. Designed to operate for three years, a power malfunction ended the satellite's service after four months.
Seasat 1 carried a wide variety of data sensors, including a radar altimeter, synthetic aperture radar, and several types of radiometers. These instruments gathered information on ice fields, oil spills, ocean current patterns, wave forms, storm formations, rain cells, atmospheric wind speeds, and other meteorological phenomena.
The artifact is a 1/20 scale model of the spacecraft, transferred from Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, to the Museum in 1984.