NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header




The SMS 1 was a NASA-developed, NOAA-operated spacecraft. The spin-stabilized, earth-synchronous spacecraft carried (1) a visible infrared spin-scan radiometer (VISSR) which provided high-quality day/night cloudcover data and made radiance temperatures of the earth/atmosphere system, (2) a meteorological data collection and transmission system which relayed processed data from central weather facilities to small APT-equipped regional stations and collected and retransmitted data from remotely located earth-based platforms, and (3) a space environmental monitor (SEM) which measured proton, electron, and solar X-ray fluxes and magnetic fields. The cylindrically shaped spacecraft measured 190.5 cm in diameter and 230 cm in length, exclusive of a magnetometer that extended an additional 83 cm beyond the cylinder shell. The primary structural members were a honeycombed equipment shelf and a thrust tube. The VISSR telescope was mounted on the equipment shelf and viewed the earth through a special aperture in the side of the spacecraft. A support structure extended radially out from the thrust tube and was affixed to the solar panels, which formed the outer walls of the spacecraft and provided the primary source of electrical power. Located in the annulus-shaped space between the thrust tube and the solar panels were station-keeping and dynamics control equipment, batteries, and most of the SEM equipment. Proper spacecraft attitude and spin rate (approximately 100 rpm) were maintained by two separate sets of jet thrusters mounted around the spacecraft equator and activated by ground command. The spacecraft used both UHF and S-band frequencies in its telemetry and command subsystem. A low-power VHF transponder provided telemetry and command during launch and then served as a backup for the primary subsystem once the spacecraft had attained synchronous orbit. For more detailed information, see "The GOES/SMS User's Guide."

Alternate Names

  • 07298
  • ME01
  • SMS-A
  • SMS1
  • Synch. Meteorol. Sat. A

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1974-05-17
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 227 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (United States)
  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (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. William E. ShenkProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. Thomas J. KarrasProject ManagerNOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
[] NASA Logo -