Seasat’s contributions to ice sheet glaciology are explored with emphasis on the experience gained from this mission and on how this has assisted in defining future satellite missions. The sensors onboard Seasat during 1978 have provided valuable tools for the study of ice masses, particularly in the polar regions. The radar altimeter has demonstrated the ability to map the surface of ice sheets in considerable detail and over a very short period of time. Such studies are instrumental to global climate modeling, investigation of the ‘greenhouse effect’, and prediction of world sea levels. Radar altimeter mapping has also provided unparalleled detail on surface topography relevant to ice dynamics investigations. The small dataset of SAR imagery gathered over ice masses has begun to reveal useful detail of surface and near-surface phenomena such as flowlines, meltwater percolation, and snow and ice facies invaluable for glaciological reconnaissance.