Space Flower Antenna Application Technology Satellite (ATS)
"Space Flower" was the first of the 9-meter (30-foot) diameter antennas for the Application Technology Satellites (ATS). The ATS program was initiated in 1966 to demonstrate the feasibility and capability of placing a satellite in geostationary (geosynchronous) orbit over a fixed location on the Earth's surface. The saucer-shaped antenna was built at Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., Sunnyvale, California. Also shown is the mold on which the mesh is sewn to the flexible ribs and later sewn in place. For the ride into space, the antenna ribs and mesh are wrapped around the hub of the antenna. When the antenna and spacecraft arrived in the proper orbit, a signal caused a restraining cable to be cut, and the antenna blossomed like an opening flower.
Image # : 72-H-1360
Date: October 13, 1972