Momentum Wheel, Applied Technology Satellite 6 (ATS 6), Earth Viewing Module


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:

Launched in 1974, Applications Satellite Technology 6 (ATS 6) was the last of a series of NASA experimental satellites designed to test new communications, meteorological, and other technologies. The spacecraft used three-axis stabilization to maintain a constant orientation toward Earth, especially important for ATS 6's principal mission of communications.

These momentum wheels (two of three on the spacecraft) helped ATS 6 maintain this stabilization.

These artifacts are flight spares, which NASA transferred to the Museum in 1978.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from NASA


Country of Origin

United States of America


  • Magnesium
  • Paint
  • Cadmium Plating
  • Steel
  • Non-magnetic Metal
  • Copper Alloy
  • Plastic
  • Adhesive
  • Glass


  • Approximate (Each): 34.3 × 33 × 10.2cm (13 1/2 × 13 × 4 in.)
  • Storage: 97.2 × 48.3 × 29.8cm (38 1/4 × 19 × 11 3/4 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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


SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Guidance & Control