Satellite, Meteorological, ITOS

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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:

This artifact is an Improved Tiros Operational Satellite (ITOS) flight spare. Initiated in 1970, six ITOS were deployed to provide, for the first time, day-to-day, routine weather observation and forecasting. The ITOS succeeded the TIROS series of satellites, which began providing data on the earth's weather in 1960. NASA oversaw production of the satellites; once in orbit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) handled their operation and distributed weather data.

ITOS flew in a polar, sun synchronous orbit and, in a crucial improvement from the TIROS series, was stabilized to always point its cameras and other sensors at the Earth. The satellite carried Automatic Picture Transmission cameras to provide instant weather data to ground stations around the world; Advanced Vidicon Camera Subsystems for detailed observations; and scanning radiometers for imaging the earth at night.

This artifact was transferred in 1980 from the International Communications Agency to NASM.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Manufacturer

Credit Line

Transferred from International Communications Agency

Materials

Aluminum, plastics, glass, mylar

Dimensions

Overall (folded): 65 in. tall x 52 in. wide x 42 in. deep (165.1 x 132.1 x 106.7cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America

Type

SPACECRAFT-Unmanned

Inventory Number

A19800408000