Satellite Anniversary

April 1 is the anniversary of the launch of TIROS 1, the first weather satellite that made it possible to “observe the earth’s weather conditions on a regular basis, over most of the world from the vantage point of outer space”.
TIROS-1 was launched from Cape Canaveral on top of a Thor rocket and was operational for 78 days. The satellite weighed 270 pounds and carried two television cameras and a tape recorder. By comparison, modern day satellites weigh almost 5,000 pounds and carry numerous sensors and communications equipment.
TIROS-1 transmitted 19,389 useable satellite pictures before an electrical malfunction brought its’ mission to an end in mid June of 1960. TIROS-2 was launced in late November of that same year.
John Collins

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