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Seasat 1



The Ocean Dynamics Satellite (Seasat 1) was designed to provide measurements of sea-surface winds, sea-surface temperatures, wave heights, internal waves, atmospheric liquid water content, sea ice features, ocean features, ocean topography, and the marine geoid. Seasat 1 provided 95% global coverage every 36 h. The instrument payload consisted of (1) an X-band compressed pulse radar altimeter (ALT), (2) a coherent synthetic aperture radar (SAR), (3) a Seasat-A scatterometer system (SASS), (4) a scanning multichannel microwave radiometer (SMMR), and (5) a visible and infrared radiometer (VIRR). The accuracies obtained were distance between spacecraft and ocean surface to 10 cm, wind speeds to 2 m/s, and surface temperatures to 1 deg C. For more information about Seasat 1, see "Seasat mission overview," Science, v. 204, pp. 1405-1424, 1979, and a special issue on the Seasat 1 sensors, IEEE J. of Oceanic Eng., v. OE-5, 1980. On October 10, 1978, Seasat 1 failed due to a massive short circuit in its electrical system. During most of its 105 days in orbit, Seasat 1 returned a unique and extensive set of observations of the earth's oceans.

Alternate Names

  • 10967
  • Ocean Dynamics Sat-A
  • Sea Satellite-A
  • Seasat-A
  • Seasat1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1978-06-27
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Agena
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 1800 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (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. Walker E. GibersonProject ManagerNASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Mr. Samuel W. McCandless, Jr.Program ManagerNASA Headquarters
Dr. James A. DunneProject ScientistNASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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