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Mockup of the SAOCOM satellites
Mission typeEarth-observation satellites
Mission duration5 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Dry mass3,000 kg
Start of mission
Launch date8 October 2018, 02:21 (2018-10-08UTC02:21) UTC (SAOCOM 1A)
Planned: February 2020 (SAOCOM 1B)
RocketFalcon 9
Launch siteSpace Launch Complex 4 (SLC-4), Vandenberg Air Force Base

SAOCOM (Satélite Argentino de Observación COn Microondas, Spanish for Argentine Microwaves Observation Satellite) is an Earth observation satellite constellation of Argentina's space agency CONAE. The first of two satellites is already orbiting the Earth in a polar orbit, while the second one is planned to be launched in 2019.

CONAE contracted the company INVAP as main contractor for the project.


The two satellites, SAOCOM 1A and SAOCOM 1B, both are equipped with an L band (about 1.275 GHz) full polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to help predict and monitor the mitigation of natural disasters. Each satellite has a mass of 3,000 kg (6,600 lb).[1]


SAOCOM 1A at CEATSA in July 2018

Due to delays in the satellites' development, both launches were postponed for 2012 and 2013.[2] Further delays pushed the launch dates back tentatively towards 2014 and 2015.[3] By 2016, SAOCOM 1A was scheduled for launch in December 2016,[4] and SAOCOM 1B in December 2017.[5] In April 2016, the launch dates for 1A and 1B were further pushed back to October 2017 and October 2018.[6] In August 2018, SAOCOM 1A was scheduled for launch on 7 October 2018[7] and SAOCOM 1B some time in 2019.[8] Both satellites were to be launched on Falcon 9 rockets[9] together with additional secondary payloads.[10]

Launch and operations[edit]

SAOCOM 1A was launched on 8 October 2018, 02:21 UTC (7 October, 19:21 PDT). The satellite was deployed into a Sun-synchronous orbit.[11] The same orbit is planned to be used for SAOCOM 1B on a 2019 launch.

The Falcon 9 rocket booster landed as planned at Landing Zone 4 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, making it SpaceX's first land landing for a launch occurring on the Pacific coast.[11]

SIASGE constellation[edit]

The two satellites, also carry four X band (~9.6 GHz) SAR-equipped COSMO-SkyMed satellites from the Italian Space Agency (ASI), that will form the Italian-Argentine System of Satellites for Emergency Management (SIASGE) constellation.[12] A successful design review was held at the Argentinian space centre Teófilo Tabanera near the Cordoba City on 16 and 17 October 2012. In May 2015, the two agencies decided to expand the SIAGSE system by adding two additional COSMO-SkyMed satellites and two additional SAOCOM satellites, 2A and 2B.[citation needed] This would raise the SIAGSE constellation total number of satellites to 10.


  1. ^ "INVAP - SAOCOM satellites" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-03.
  2. ^ "SPACEX SIGNS ARGENTINA'S SPACE AGENCY FOR TWO FALCON 9 LAUNCHES". Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 2015-05-03.
  3. ^ "Launch manifest". SpaceX. 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  4. ^ "Mission Summary - SAOCOM 1A". CEOS. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  5. ^ "Mission Summary - SAOCOM 1B". CEOS. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  6. ^ "Exitosa Revisión de la Misión SAOCOM" (in Spanish). CONAE. April 12, 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-27.
  7. ^ Clark, Stephen (August 27, 2018). "Launch schedule". SpaceFlight Now. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  8. ^ "Agencias espaciales del mundo debatieron en Buenos Aires cómo prevenir catástrofes naturales" [Space agencies of the world will debate in Buenos Aires how to predict natural disasters]. Los Andes (in Spanish). 8 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017. Este sistema ítalo-argentino estará completo cuando se lancen los dos satélites SAOCOM 1A y SAOCOM 1B, que serán puestos en órbita en junio de 2018 y a comienzos de 2019, respectivamente.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b [1]
  12. ^ Arias, Daniel E. (June 9, 2007). "Ya en órbita, el satélite Cosmo-Skymed da sus primeros signos de vida" (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved 2007-08-31.

External links[edit]