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ATS 2 (Applications Technology Satellite) was a medium altitude, gravity-gradient-stabilized spacecraft designed to (1) test new concepts in spacecraft design, propulsion, and stabilization, (2) take high-quality cloudcover pictures, (3) provide in situ measurements of the aerospace environment, and (4) test improved communication systems. The cylindrically-shaped spacecraft measured 142 cm in diameter and 183 cm in length. The spacecraft structure consisted primarily of a corrugated thrust tube with honeycombed bulkheads secured to each end. Equipment components and payload were externally mounted on the outer surface of the thrust tube as well as on a structure that slid into the interior of the thrust tube. Electric power was provided by two solar arrays mounted on either end of the spacecraft's outer shell and by two rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries. Extending radially outward from the side of the spacecraft were four 28.2-m, adjustable gravity-gradient booms. The spacecraft telemetry system consisted of four 2.1-W transmitters (two at 136.47 MHz and two at 137.35 MHz), in addition to a microwave communications experiment. The second stage of the ATS 2 launch vehicle failed to ignite, resulting in an unplanned elliptical orbit. Stresses induced by this orbit eventually induced spacecraft tumbling. In spite of these conditions, useful data were obtained from some of the experiments, most notably the cosmic-ray and particle experiments and the field detection experiments. The satellite reentered the atmosphere on September 2, 1969.

Alternate Names

  • 02743
  • ATS-A
  • ATS2
  • Advanced Tech. Sat. 2

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1967-04-06
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Agena D
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 324.3 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Planetary Science
  • Space Physics
  • Solar Physics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. R. J. DarceyProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. John M. TholeProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Thomas L. AggsonProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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