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The Marine Observation Satellite (MOS-1) was Japan's first earth observation satellite. The three-axis stabilized spacecraft carried (1) a Multispectral Electronic Self-scanning Radiometer (MESSR) that collected data from both land and sea, (2) a Visible and Thermal Infrared Radiometer (VTIR) to measure sea surface temperature, (3) a Microwave Scanning Radiometer (MSR) to provide information on sea ice, snowfall, water vapor content at the ocean and in the atmosphere, and (4) a Data Collection System (DCS) transponder to collect observation data from drifting buoys. The spacecraft had a box-type shape with deployable solar panels. It was composed of two cubes, a bus module and a mission module, on which the three sensors were mounted. The spacecraft followed a sun-synchronous orbit with equatorial crossings in the descending node maintained between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. local time. The mission life was designed to be 2 years.

Alternate Names

  • 17527
  • MOS-A
  • MOS1
  • Marine Observ. Sat. 1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1987-02-19
Launch Vehicle: N-2
Launch Site: Tanegashima, Japan
Mass: 750 kg

Funding Agency

  • National Space Development Agency (NASDA) (Japan)


  • Communications
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Y. IshizawaProject ManagerNational Space Development Agency of Japan
Project ScientistNational Space Development Agency of Japan
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