Friday, February 10, 2012

50 YA - Tiros 4 Launched to orbit

Tiros Weather Satellite.

FIfty years ago NASA launched the 4th member of the Tiros weather satellites. The launch occurred on February 8th from Cape Canaveral with a Thor-Able rocket blasting off from Launch Complex 17A. I have another source which claims the rocket used was a Thor-Delta configuration. Thor-Deltas were generally launched from LC-17. The Thor-Delta was the forerunner to today's Delta-class rockets.

Thor-Able rocket.

Thor-Delta rocket.

Both rocket configurations are similar. In either case, the Tiros-4 weather satellite was placed into orbit and began sending photos and data back to Earth within 24 hours. The satellite was about 42 inches in diameter, and cylinder-shaped. Two different telephoto cameras were installed, with other sensors and communications systems. The Tiros weather system enabled forecasters to more carefully watch cloud cover, storm systems, and photograph weather events from orbit.

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