Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
TIROS-1 (or TIROS-I) was the first successful weather satellite, and the first of a series of TIROS satellites. It was designed to test experimental techniques for taking television footage of weather patterns from orbit, and was launched on April 1, 1960 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Though operational for only 78 days, it was vastly more successful than Vanguard 2 in demonstrating that satellites were useful for surveying atmospheric conditions from space.
Two television cameras were housed in the 270 pound (120 kg) craft, along with two magnetic tape recorders which could be used to store photographs when the satellite was out of communications range. Power was supplied by onboard batteries, charged by 9200 solar cells.
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