Country of Origin: United States of America
Overall: 1 1/2in. x 9in. (3.8 x 22.9cm)
Glass, copper, aluminum, plastic, paint
In the 1970s, NASA inaugurated the Landsat series of satellites to study the Earth from space. The program demonstrated the practical benefits of such research: for the first time the Earth's natural resources--land, water, and vegetation--could be mapped and studied continuously and on a global basis.
The Earth Resources Technology Satellite (later renamed Landsat 1), launched in 1972, was the first of these satellites. One of the main instruments was a Return Beam Vidicon (RBV) camera, which provided provided black and white images of the Earth.
This artifact, a vidicon (or television) tube, was the key component of this instrument system. The RBV used three vidicon tubes, each gathering data at different wavelengths.
Mr. Abe Schapf donated this artifact to the Museum in 1975.
Gift of Abe Schapf