Model, Meteorological Satellite, Tiros N

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

First launched in 1978, the TIROS-N (Television Infrared Observation Satellite) series was the third generation of TIROS weather satellites--a program first begun in 1960.

NASA developed the satellites then transferred them to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) once in orbit and operational. The satellites flew in polar, sun synchronous orbits and gathered information on day and night cloud-top and sea surface temperatures as well as on water vapor in the atmosphere. The satellites also carried a data collection platform that received and processed information from balloons and buoys positioned worldwide.

TIROS-N satellites worked in conjunction with another type of meteorological satellite, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), to provide comprehensive weather coverage of the Earth. The GOES satellites provided data on near-term weather conditions, the TIROS-N for longer-term forecasting.

This artifact is a scale model of a TIROS-N spacecraft, donated by RCA to the Museum in 1984.