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The GEOS 1 (Geodetic Earth Orbiting Satellite) spacecraft was a gravity-gradient-stabilized, solar-cell powered unit designed exclusively for geodetic studies. It was the first successful active spacecraft of the National Geodetic Satellite Program. Instrumentation included (1) four optical beacons, (2) laser reflectors, (3) a radio range transponder, (4) Doppler beacons, and (5) a range and range rate transponder. These were designed to operate simultaneously to fulfill the objectives of locating observation points (geodetic control stations) in a three dimensional earth center-of-mass coordinate system within 10 m of accuracy, of defining the structure of the earth's irregular gravitational field and refining the locations and magnitudes of the large gravity anomalies, and of comparing results of the various systems onboard the spacecraft to determine the most accurate and reliable system. Acquisition and recording of data were the responsibility of the GSFC Space Tracking and Data Acquisitions Network (STADAN). Ten major observing networks were used.

Alternate Names

  • 01726
  • Explorer 29
  • GEOS-A
  • GEOS1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1965-11-06
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 387 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Charles J. FinleyProject ManagerNASA Headquarters
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