Ocean Dynamics Satellite
Launch Date: June 27, 1978
Mission Project Home Page - http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/missiondetails.cfm?mission=Seasat
Seasat was the first satellite designed for remote sensing of the Earth's oceans with synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The mission was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of global satellite monitoring of oceanographic phenomena and to help determine the requirements for an operational ocean remote sensing satellite system. Specific objectives were to collect data on sea-surface winds, sea-surface temperatures, wave heights, internal waves, atmospheric water, sea ice features and ocean topography. The mission ended on October 10, 1978 due to a failure of the vehicle's electric power system. Although only approximately 42 hours of real time data was received, the mission demonstrated the feasiblity of using microwave sensors to monitor ocean conditions, and laid the groundwork for future SAR missions.