Matra built the SPOT 1 satellite for CNES, which launched it aboard an Ariane into sun synchronous polar orbit in Feb 1986. Launch mass was 1830 kg, dry mass was 1680 kg. The Ariane launch was notable in that the H8 final stage exploded and became one of the largest single contributors to the cataloged orbital debris population.

SPOT 1 was deactivated in 1993, but was to be reactivated in Nov 1996 to make up for the loss of SPOT 3. By this time, the on board tape recorders had failed and data had to be recovered by ground station real time passes.



1986 Feb 22    Launch by Ariane I   CSG 
1986 Feb 22    101.42 823 x 828 x 98.8 
1986 Nov 14    H8 stage explodes 
1990 Sep    In reserve 
1992 Mar    Reactivated 
1992 Oct    Deactivated for winter 
1993 Apr    Reactivated 
1993 Jul    Deactivated 
1993 Sep     101.41 824 x 825 x 98.71