TOPEX-Poseidon, Kitsat-1 & S80/T

Launch Time
Mon Aug 10, 1992 23:08 UTC

Last flight of Ariane 42L with a classic H10 stage. Flight V52.


Ariane 42P
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 4,334 kN
Payload to GTO: 2,930 kg
Stages: 3
Strap-ons: 2
Rocket Height: 58.72 m

Mission Details


TOPEX/Poseidon was a joint satellite mission between NASA, the U.S. space agency; and CNES, the French space agency, to map ocean surface topography. Launched on August 10, 1992, it was the first major oceanographic research satellite. TOPEX/Poseidon helped revolutionize oceanography by providing data previously impossible to obtain. Oceanographer Walter Munk described TOPEX/Poseidon as "the most successful ocean experiment of all time." A malfunction ended normal satellite operations in January 2006.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 2,431.0 kg
Low Earth Orbit


KITSAT-1 (Korean Institute of Technology Satellite) was a collaborative research mission, encompassing the installation of a ground station in South Korea, participation of Korean engineers in the UoSAT-5 mission, technology transfer and training of students on the MSc courses at Surrey, and the involvement in the engineering and flight of microsatellites.

KITSAT-1 was developed and constructed by a team of Korean and SSTL engineers. It was based on the 35 cm × 35 cm × 67 cm modular microsatellite bus previously flown on UoSAT-3, -4, and -5. Power was provided by body-mounted solar cells. Attitude control was provided by a gravity-gradient boom and active magnetorquering.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 46.0 kg
Low Earth Orbit


The S80/T satellite was built for CNES by Matra Marconi Space using the Surrey Satellite Technology Microbus (Uosat) bus. The 0.35 × 0.35m, 50 kg satellite had a 6-m gravity gradient mast. It was launched on 1992 Aug 10 on an ASAP Ariane from Kourou. S80/T carried an experimental 148/138 MHz transponder for tests of mobile communications and location-finding for a proposed, but later abandoned, LEO constellation named S80 or Taos.

The spacecraft finally suffered electrical failure due to total dose effects in October 1999.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 50.0 kg
Low Earth Orbit


ELA-2, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



53rd orbital launch attempt


43rd mission
4th mission of 1992
40th successful mission
16th consecutive successful mission

Ariane 4

24th mission
4th mission of 1992
23rd successful mission
16th consecutive successful mission