BackForward Satellite Programme: Application Technology Satellite 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Series of 6 satellites (three, ATS-2, ATS-4 and ATS-5, actually failed to achieve the orbit) for technological demonstration of imagery from GEO, and telecommunication experiments.
  • USA programme: NASA responsible of development and operations.
  • ATS-1 and ATS-3 spinning satellites; ATS-2, ATS-4 and ATS-5 stabilised by gravity gradient, ATS-6 actively stabilised over 3-axes.
  • Design lifetime 2 years.
  • Geostationary orbit over longitudes changing during the satellite exploitation phase.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • Mission operated by NASA, with direct data reception also available to NOAA.
Agencies NASA
Programme lifetime 1966 - 1979
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned