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ATS 5 (Advanced Technology Satellite 5) was an equatorial-orbiting, synchronous-altitude technology satellite intended to test various communications and earth observational systems. Also included on board were particle, electric field, and magnetic field experiments. Because of a malfunction, the intended gravity-gradient stabilization mechanism could not be deployed, and ATS 5 was stabilized in a spinning mode about the spacecraft Z axis at approximately 71 rpm. All experiments that depended on the planned gravity-gradient stabilization were adversely affected to varying degrees, and the mission was declared a failure. However, some of the science experiments, including the magnetic field monitor and the particle experiments, returned usable data. ATS 5 was positioned at about 105 deg W longitude over the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Alternate Names

  • 04068
  • ATS-E
  • ATS5
  • Advanced Tech. Sat. 5
  • PL-692B

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1969-08-12
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Centaur
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 821 kg

Funding Agency

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


  • 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. Charles M. MacKenzieProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. Don V. FordyceProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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