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The important aspects of operational systems engineering for a typical earth-orbiting satellite are highlighted. Focus is on the use of a general purpose digital computer at a command and telemetry data acquisition station. The operational concept utilizes the computer equipment both on-line, in near real time, and off-line to assess satellite performance for operational purposes. The operational commands transmitted to the satellite are derived and printed out by the computer and its peripheral equipment from a diagnostic processing of the satellites recorded telemetry data. While the spacecraft is still within range of communication, commands are transmitted from the ground station either for immediate execution or for execution at a specified future time. An adequately detailed description of the spacecraft-computer interface is attempted to permit sufficient understanding for early incorporation of complete subsystem operational requirements during the initial design phase of any similar program.