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The Radio Astronomy Explorer satellite (RAE-1) is the first spacecraft designed exclusively for radio astronomical studies. It is a small, but relatively complex, observatory including two 229-meter antennas, several radiometer systems covering a frequency range of 0.2 to 9.2 MHz, and a variety of supporting experiments such as antenna impedance probes and TV cameras to monitor antenna shape. Since its launch in July, 1968, RAE-1 has sent back some 1010 data bits per year on measurements of long-wavelength radio phenomena in the magnetosphere, the solar corona, and the galaxy. In this paper we describe the design, calibration, and performance of the RAE-1 experiments in detail.