SAC-A era un satélite pequeño (68 kg de peso) que sirvió como experiencia para probar sistemas ópticos, de energía, de navegación y de guiado de control. Transportado por el transbordador Endeavour, en la misión STS-88 en diciembre de 1998, llegó a exceder su vida útil de 8 meses sin presentar problemas técnicos.

Launch, operation, and End of Mission

The launch and orbiting of the satellite were directed by NASA on the Space Shuttle “Endeavour” STS-88 Mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, at Cabo Cañaveral, Florida, on December 3, 1998.

Being this a manned mission, additional and demanding security control processing was required to integrate SAC-A to the shuttle. CONAE was charged with the fulfillment of special complementary rules stipulated by NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center.

SAC-A mission ended on August 1999.

The anomalies and emergency situations that took place in the early stages of the mission were satisfactorily resolved.  Far from being a drawback, they provided a valuable experience, much more useful than if everything had developed normally.

Valuable data was obtained for the development of future subsystems, standards that will work as reinsurance in future sets of software for the control of vehicle and in the use of extreme communication resources.

The experience is invaluable considering that this was the first step in the organization of the Mission Control Centre, including the equipment, software, staff training, processes organization, documentation systems, and many other aspects.