TUESDAY, APRIL 11 - FIRST WEATHER SATELLITE: TIROS I


This month the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is marking a significant anniversary. Forty years ago, in April 1960, the world's first meteorological satellite was launched. It weighed just 270 pounds, and was called TIROS I. TIROS stands for Television and Infrared Observational satellite.

Within hours of the launch, ground stations in New Jersey and Hawaii were receiving clear pictures from more than 400 miles in space. Here's the first picture snapped by TIROS-I. Later that day, pictures like this one were shown to President Eisenhower - and meteorology would never be the same again.

Today, of course, weather satellites and the sensors they carry have improved dramatically. Satellite data has found diverse applications in fields such as agriculture, oceanography, and geography, just to name a few.

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