This Day in History: First TV Picture Sent from Space (April 1, 1960)

By: Sean Sporman
By: Sean Sporman

Satellite imagery of the Earth is common in the present day, but it was on this day in history many years ago that it happened for the first time.

The first TIROS, or Television and InfraRed Observation Satellite, was launched on April 1st, 1960 aboard a Thor-Able rocket.

The main instruments aboard the satellite were TV cameras, and TIROS-1 made history by transmitting the first television pictures from space. Throughout its mission, TIROS-1 transmitted over 19 thousand pictures used in weather forecasting.

Weather satellites are, to this day, a crucial element in weather forecasting ranging from a sunny day to severe weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

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