Tiros I prototype on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
|Mission type||Weather satellite|
|Launch mass||122.5 kilograms (270 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||1 April 1960, 11:40:09UTC|
|Rocket||Thor DM-18 Able II|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral LC-17A|
|End of mission|
|Last contact||15 June 1960|
|Semi-major axis||7,026.96 kilometers (4,366.35 mi)|
|Perigee||631 kilometers (392 mi)|
|Apogee||665 kilometers (413 mi)|
|Argument of perigee||226.1327 degrees|
|Mean anomaly||133.7550 degrees|
|Epoch||22 April 2016, 21:05:55 UTC|
The TIROS-1 spacecraft was launched by NASA and partners at 6:40 AM EST on April 1, 1960, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the United States. Mission partners were NASA, the U.S. Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory, RCA, the U.S. Weather Bureau, and the U.S. Naval Photographic Interpretation Center.
The TIROS Program (Television Infrared Observation Satellite) was NASA's first experimental step to determine if satellites could be useful in the study of the Earth. At that time, the effectiveness of satellite observations was still unproven. Since satellites were a new technology, the TIROS Program also tested various design issues for spacecraft: instruments, data and operational parameters. The goal was to improve satellite applications for Earth-bound decisions, such as "should we evacuate the coast because of the hurricane?".
The TIROS Program's first priority was the development of a meteorological satellite information system. Weather forecasting was deemed the most promising application of space-based observations.
TIROS proved extremely successful, providing the first accurate weather forecasts based on data gathered from space. TIROS began continuous coverage of the Earth's weather in 1962, and was used by meteorologists worldwide. The program's success with many instrument types and orbital configurations lead to the development of more sophisticated meteorological observation satellites.
- "TIROS". NASA Science. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "TIROS 1". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "TIROS 1 Satellite details 1960-002B NORAD 29". N2YO. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "U.S. Launches Camera Weather Satellite". The Fresno Bee (AP and UPI). April 1, 1960. pp. 1a, 4a.
- TIROS – NASA Science
- The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Exhibition List
- TIROS 1 & 2 Ground Control Canter at Camp Evans - preserved by InfoAge Science History Center
- Published story of how the first TIROS photo was flown by helicopter, then a jet from the Camp Evans Ground Control Center to NASA
- TIROS I is Launched - NOAASIS
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