Exactly 12 hours from now, NASA will launch a satellite that will help save lives.
The NOAA-N-Prime Satellite is the final installment in the TIROS, or Television Infrared Observation Satellite, series that began in 1960 – nearly a decade before we made it to the moon.
These are weather satellites that operate in polar orbit and gather vital information about weather phenomena – helping people around the globe better prepare for hurricanes, respond to wildfires, and take shelter when a tornado is about to form.
It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have such instant, detailed weather monitoring. Just look at the photo I posted here. It’s the first television picture from space – taken by the first TIROS satellite. Groundbreaking for its time, but nothing like what NOAA-N-Prime can do.
If you’ve got a few minutes, watch this video overview of the history of TIROS and its life-saving work. And if you’re still awake at 2:20am, look up at the sky and wish NOAA-N-Prime a safe journey.