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1966

ESSA-1 and ESSA-2 are launched. With these weather satellites in space, forecasters begin to rely on satellite images for tropical cyclone forecasting realigned the cameras, the photographs became useful tools and meteorologists clamored for them.

NASA launched 10 experimental TIROS series satellites between 1960 and 1965 and followed them with nine operational ESSA satellites, and seven Nimbus research satellites. Unlike the ESSA satellites, which were strictly for meteorological measurements, the Nimbus series provided information across the wide range of earth science disciplines.

All of these satellites were polar orbiters. As the illustration at the bottom of page 128 shows, polar orbiting satellites continued on the same track from pole to pole while the Earth spun underneath them and took pictures of the same spot every 12 hours. Meteorologists needed information more often than twice per day when storms were moving quickly. The answer to the problem was the launching of the first Applications Technology Satellite (ATS-1) on December 6, 1966. It was the first geosynchronous satellite.

Geosynchronous satellites are placed in orbit about 22,000 miles (36,000 km) out in space directly above the equator. At this distance, they remain in the same position relative to a fixed spot on the surface. They send back a "full disk" photograph of Earth's surface, showing half

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