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OTB 3 GAzelle



GAzelle, formerly known as Orbital Test Bed 3, is a commercial satellite built and owned by General Atomics, which manufactured the spacecraft in Centennial, Colorado. The craft’s primary payload is a government-sponsored instrument called Argos 4 for NOAA and CNES, the French space agency.

The Argos program launched its first space sensor on a satellite in 1978, and U.S. and French officials have developed several new generations of Argos instruments over the last 40 years. The first fourth-generation Argos mission launched Friday on the GAzelle satellite.

“With this launch, the Argos system will be improved and extended, which will benefit all current and future users around the world,” said Elsayed Talaat, director of the office of projects, planning, and analysis for NOAA’s satellite division. “There are several thousand individual users or programs using Argos to track more than 13,000 objects today, primarily for wildlife tracking.”

The Argos instruments collect faint radio signals emitted by small transmitters on animals, weather buoys, and remote science stations around the world, allowing researchers to access environmental data such as air pressure and temperature and sea surface temperature. Scientists also use the Argos satellites to track wildlife migratory patterns.

Alternate Names

  • OTB3GAzelle
  • 54023

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2022-10-07
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • Technology Applications

Additional Information

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

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