SPOT-1 & Viking

Launch Time
Sat Feb 22, 1986 01:44 UTC

Flight V16, final launch of Ariane 1.


Ariane 1
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 2,772 kN
Payload to LEO: 4,850 kg
Payload to GTO: 1,850 kg
Stages: 4
Strap-ons: 0
Rocket Height: 47.4 m

Mission Details


SPOT-1 is a French Earth observation satellite. It worked for 30 years before disintegrating into the atmosphere. The SPOT satellites were identical, with each carrying two identical HRV (High-Resolution Visible) imaging instruments that were able to operate in two modes, either simultaneously or individually. The two spectral modes are panchromatic and multispectral. The panchromatic band had a resolution of 10 meters, and the three multispectral bands (G, R, and NIR) have resolutions of 20 meters.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 1,830.0 kg
Sun-Synchronous Orbit


Sweden's first satellite, Viking, was launched on 22 February 1986 as a piggyback payload on the Ariane-1 rocket that orbited the French remote sensing satellite SPOT 1. The satellite conducted a very successful magnetospheric research mission until 12 May 1987. The Viking project was managed by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) under contract from the Swedish Board for Space Activities, the government space agency. SSC is a government-owned organization responsible for the execution of Sweden´s space program. The satellite was developed by SAAB Space with Boeing Aerospace as a major subcontractor.

Viking's perigee boost motor placed this relatively small satellite (286 kg) into a final 817 km - 13,530 km polar orbit, where it conducted scientific observations of complex plasma processes in the magnetosphere and ionosphere of the earth. The satellite carries experiments to measure electric fields, magnetic fields, charged particles, waves, and auroral images. These experiments were supplied by scientific teams from Sweden, Canada, Denmark, France, Norway, the United States, and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 538.0 kg
Sun-Synchronous Orbit


ELA-1, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



20th orbital launch attempt


8th mission
1st mission of 1986
7th successful mission
1st consecutive successful mission

Ariane 1

11th mission
1st mission of 1986
9th successful mission
6th consecutive successful mission