Environmental Science Services Administration

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The flag of the Environmental Science Services Administration. In essence, it was the flag of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey with a blue circle added to the center of the red triangle, within which was a stylized, diamond-shaped map of the world.

The U. S. Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) was a United States Federal executive agency created in 1965 as part of a reorganization of the United States Department of Commerce (USDOC).[1] Its mission was to oversee the nation's weather and climate operations.

In 1970 ESSA was reorganized as part of the Department of Commerce's Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970, becoming the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).[2]

Commissioned officers (ESSA Corps)[edit]

In the 1965 reorganization, the commissioned officers of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey were transferred to the control of the Secretary of Commerce.[1] This created the ESSA Corps, which became the NOAA Corps in the 1970 reorganization.[3]

Functions and units[edit]

In January 1966, ESSA changed the Weather Bureau's name to the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Data Center was renamed the Environmental Data Service (EDS).

The activities that became known as ESSA's satellite program was begun by NASA in 1958, and ended with the decommissioning of the last satellite in 1977. ESSA served as a complement to the Television Infrared Observation Satellite Program (TIROS).

As a complement to the TIROS program, ESSA managed the first operational United States polar orbiting weather satellite system, known as the Television Infrared Observation Satellite Program (TIROS). These satellites, known as TIROS 1 through 10, were the first generation of American weather satellites. These early satellites carried low resolution television and infrared cameras. Designed mainly to test the feaseability of weather satellites, TIROS proved to be extremely successful, and paved the way for the later project called the TIROS Operational System (TOS).

Tiros Operational System[edit]

The TOS project officially began with the launch of ESSA-1 on February 3, 1966[1]. The ESSA program launched nine satellites from 1966 to 1969, each named with ESSA followed by a number from 1 - 9.

See also[edit]




  1. ^ a b Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1965, reprinted in 5 U.S.C. app. at 1517
  2. ^ Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970, reprinted with amendments in 5 U.S.C. app. at 1557-61
  3. ^ NOAA, Coast and Geodetic Survey Heritage

External links[edit]