SP-168 EXPLORING SPACE WITH A CAMERA

This photomosaic depicts complete global coverage assembled from pictures taken during 12 consecutive orbits on October 31, 1966, by the ESSA III meteorological satellite

"This photomosaic depicts complete global coverage assembled from pictures taken during 12 consecutive orbits on October 31, 1966, by the ESSA III meteorological satellite, HERBERT I. BUTLER, Chief, Operational Satellites Office, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, tells us. "The mosaic typifies the daily output of the Advanced Vidicon Camera System obtained by the Tiros Operational Satellite (TOS) system for use by the U.S. Weather Bureau in preparing daily worldwide meteorological analyses and forecasts."

How high was the camera and how much of the Earth does each frame cover?

"The ESSA III satellite was in a 750-mile altitude, circular orbit, inclined approximately 79° retrograde to provide Sun synchronism. Each picture covers approximately 3000000 square miles of the Earth's surface. In order to provide geographic location of meteorological phenomena, each picture was routinely gridded at ESSA in a latitude-longitude matrix. The South Pole and the Antarctic region are clearly visible in the concentric circles in each of the lower pictures. Africa and the Near East are readily recognized in the central portion of the mosaic.

"The significance of this group of photographs lies in the fact that it represents a truly operational product of the space age and the result of more than 6 years of research and development work in the Tiros and Nimbus programs."


- Back -