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A communnications satellite serving the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and British Ministry of Defense was launched from Cape Canaveral by a Delta 2 rocket. NATO 4A was the first of two new-generation commsats offering secure military and diplomatic voice and data communications to NATO member nations and troops in the field. The satellite offered spot beam and global coverage to reach a wide range of ground stations and ships at sea. The communications package housed four SHF and two UHF channels. The payload was provided by Marconi Space Systems; the satellite was built by British Aerospace. Based on the Skynet 4 design, it was box-shaped, measuring 2.1 m high by 1.9 m long by 1.4 m wide. Solar arrays spanned 16 m and provided 1,200 W at end of life. The satellite was operational above 18 deg. w and had a 7-year design life. NATO 4B is scheduled to fly in 1993 or 94.

Alternate Names

  • 21047
  • NATO4A

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1991-01-08
Launch Vehicle: Delta II
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 1433 kg
Nominal Power: 1200 W

Funding Agency

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (International)


  • Communications

Additional Information

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

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