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CAT 1, 2, 3, 4


The CAT (Capsule Ariane Technologique) payloads were instrumented vehicle evaluation payloads on the first four Ariane-1 flights.

CAT consisted of a cylindrical section, which carried the instruments for vibration, acceleration, sound and launch environment. They were battery powered with a life time of about 6 days. The CAT payloads could be topped by ballast or adaptor section.

CAT 1 carried a truncated cone ballast. CAT 2 was similar, but carried also the Firewheel satellite on top of the ballast section and the AMSAT P3A satellite side mounted.

CAT 3 had the ballast section replaced by the Indian Apple satellite, which in turn carried the Meteosat 2 satellite.

CAT 4 contained also the scientific Thesee payload. It had a cylindrical ballast section with a vibration damping experiment, which carried the MARECS 1 comsat.

Nation: Europe
Type / Application: Vehicle evaluation
Contractors: Aeritalia, Selenia, Labem
Propulsion: None
Power: Batteries
Lifetime: 6 days
Orbit: 182 km × 35824 km, 17.63 (#1); 221 km × 35700 km, 10.23 (#3); 216 km × 35716 km, 10.38 (#4)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CAT 1 1979-104A 24.12.1979 Ko ELA-1 Ariane-1
CAT 2 1980-F01 23.05.1980 Ko ELA-1 F Ariane-1 with Firewheel, Firewheel Subsat 1, 2, 3, 4, AMSAT P3A
CAT 3 1981-057C 19.06.1981 Ko ELA-1 Ariane-1 with Meteosat 2, Apple
CAT 4 (Thesee) 1981-122B 20.12.1981 Ko ELA-1 Ariane-1 with MARECS 1