The first three VISSR Atmospheric Sounders (VAS) were launched on GOES-4, -5, and -6 in 1980, 1981 and 1983. Postlaunch radiometric performance is assessed for noise, biases, registration and reliability, with special attention to calibration and problems in the data processing chain. The postlaunch performance of the VAS radiometer meets its prelaunch design specifications, particularly those related to image formation and noise reduction. The best instrument is carried on GOES-5, currently operational as GOES-EAST. Single sample noise is lower than expected, especially for the small longwave and large shortwave detectors. Detector to detector offsets are correctable to within the resolution limits of the instrument. Truncation, zero point and droop errors are insignificant. Absolute calibration errors, estimated from HIRS and from radiation transfer calculations, indicate moderate, but stable biases. Relative calibration errors from scanline to scanline are noticeable, but meet sounding requirements for temporarily and spatially averaged sounding fields of view. The VAS instrument is a potentially useful radiometer for mesoscale sounding operations. Image quality is very good. Soundings derived from quality controlled data meet prelaunch requirements when calculated with noise and bias resistant algorithms.