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MARISAT 1, the first of a series of COMSAT maritime communications satellites, was successfully launched February 19, 1976. The spacecraft was capable of transmitting voice, data, facsimile and telex messages to and from ships at sea through special shore stations at Southbury, CT and Santa Paul, CA, which were interconnected with existing domestic terrestrial networks. The system was initially utilized primarily by the US Navy, with a limited amount of satellite capacity provided in different frequency bands (L-bands), through separate satellite transponders, for maritime communications services to commercial entities and other interested users. At such time as the Navy's requirements terminate (late 1970s) susstantial satellite capacity will become available for commercial maritime purposes. Following launch, satellite operation was nominal. It was placed in geosynchronous orbit at 15 degrees W.

Alternate Names

  • 08697
  • Maritime Commun. Sat.-A

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1976-02-19
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 655 kg

Funding Agencies

  • Communications Satellite Corporation (United States)
  • Department of Defense-Department of the Navy (United States)


  • Communications

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Robert J. GossProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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