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INTASAT, the first Spanish satellite was a small, magnetically oriented, spin stabilized spacecraft carrying a beacon experiment to study the ionosphere. INTASAT was launched piggyback with ITOS-G. The spacecraft was a 12-sided right prism, 44.2 cm across opposite corners, and 41 cm high. The beacon antennas extended along the spin axis for about 175 cm from the center of both ends of the satellite. Four 49-cm telemetry antennas extended diagonally outward from one end. The attitude control magnet with damping bars provided alignment to the local magnetic field vector within 2 weeks of launch. The 16-v power system was operated by 12 nickel-cadmium batteries charged by solar cells on the sides of the satellite. The orbit was sun-synchronous, with equator crossing initially occuring at noon and midnight local time. About 40 ground observers used the experiment for ionospheric study. NASA-GSFC obtained telemetry and satellite position data to monitor and control spacecraft condition and to provide information to include 'M' factors. Telemetry also contained data from a technology experiment. INTA was responsible for coordinating all beacon data acquisition and processing. Beacon power was turned on by a timer shortly after spacecraft separation from the launch vehicle. A killer-timer system turned off the spacecraft at the end of 2 years.

Alternate Names

  • INTA Satellite
  • 07531

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1974-11-15
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 20.4 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)
  • Comision Nacional de Investigacion del Espacio-Instituto National de (Spain)


  • Space Physics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. John R. HoltzProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. William R. Witt, Jr.Project ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. Larry H. BraceProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. G. SagredoProject ScientistCONIE-Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial
Dr. Jose M. DoradoProject ManagerCONIE-Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial
Dr. Erwin R. SchmerlingProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
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