OTD in Space – April 1: NASA Launches TIROS-1, First US Weather Satellite

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On April 1, 1960, the U.S. launched its first weather satellite into orbit. [‘On This Day in Space’ Video Series on Space.com](https://www.space.com/39251-on-this-day-in-space.html)

The satellite was named TIROS-1, which is short for Television Infrared Observation Satellite. TIROS-1 launched on a Thor-Able rocket from Cape Canaveral and entered a polar orbit, which enabled it to see the entire globe. It watched the Earth from space for 78 days before an electrical power failure cut its mission short. The satellite was equipped with TV cameras and video recorders that transmitted images of Earth's cloud coverage directly to ground stations. This mission enabled the first accurate weather forecasts based on data and images from space. It also showed scientists that satellites could be useful tools for studying the Earth.