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ITOS-E was one in a series of improved TIROS-M type satellites that was launched with new meteorological sensors on board to expand the operational capability of the ITOS system. The primary objectives of the ITOS-E meteorologcial satellite were to provide global daytime and nighttime direct readout cloudcover data on a daily basis. The sun-synchronous spacecraft was also capable of supplying global atmospheric temperature soundings and very high resolution infrared cloudcover data for selected areas in either a direct readout or a tape recorder mode. A secondary objective was to obtain global solar proton flux data on a routine daily basis. The primary sensors consisted of a very high resolution radiometer (VHRR), a vertical temperature profile radiometer (VTPR), and a scanning radiometer (SR). The VHRR, VTPR, and SR were mounted on the satellite baseplate with their optical axes directed vertically earthward. The nearly cubical spacecraft measured 1 by 1 by 1.2 m. The satellite was equipped with three curved solar panels that were folded during launch and deployed after orbit was achieved. Each panel measured over 4.2 m in length when unfolded and was covered with 3420 solar cells measuring 2 by 2 cm. The ITOS dynamics and attitude control system were to have maintained desired spacecraft orientation through gyroscopic principles incorporated into the satellite design. Earth orientation of the satellite body was to be maintained by taking advantage of the precession induced from a momentum flywheel so that the satellite body precession rate of one revolution per orbit provided the desired 'earth-looking' attitude. Minor adjustments in attitude and orientation were to have been made by means of magnetic coils and by varying the speed of the momentum flywheel. The spacecraft was launched in July, 1973, but failed to achieve orbit.

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 1973-07-16
    Launch Vehicle: Delta
    Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
    Mass: 747 kg

    Funding Agency

    • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (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. Charles M. HunterGeneral ContactNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Mr. Stanley WeilandProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Mr. Isidore L. GoldbergProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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