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TIROS 2 (Television and InfraRed Observation Satellite) was a spin-stabilized meteorological spacecraft designed to test experimental television techniques and infrared equipment. The satellite was in the form of an 18-sided right prism, 107 cm in diameter and 56 cm high. The top and sides of the spacecraft were covered with approximately 9000 1- by 2-cm silicon solar cells. TIROS 2 was equipped with two independent television camera subsystems for taking cloudcover pictures, plus a five-channel medium-resolution scanning radiometer and a two-channel nonscanning low-resolution radiometer for measuring radiation from the earth and its atmosphere. The satellite spin rate was maintained between 8 and 12 rpm by the use of five diametrically opposed pairs of small, solid-fuel thrusters. The satellite spin axis could be oriented to within 1- to 2-deg accuracy by use of a magnetic attitude control device consisting of 250 cores of wire wound around the outer surface of the spacecraft. The interaction between the induced magnetic field in the spacecraft and the earth's magnetic field provided the necessary torque for attitude control. The spacecraft performed normally from launch until January 22, 1961, when the scanning radiometer began to deteriorate. A more complete description and performance summary of TIROS 2 is presented in the 'Journal of the British Interplanetary Society,' Vol. 19, Pages 386-409, 1963-64.

Alternate Names

  • 00063
  • 1960 Pi 1
  • A 2
  • TIROS2

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1960-11-23
Launch Vehicle: Thor-Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 127 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. R. M. RadosGeneral ContactNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. R. A. StampflProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Morris TepperProgram ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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