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Nimbus 2


Designation 02173 / 66040A
Launch date 15 May 1966
Country of origin United States
Mission Meteorology
Perigee/Apogee 1090/1174 km
Inclination 100.6°
Period 108 min
Launch vehicle Thor Agena B
Launch site Vandenberg

The project objectives were to provide global weather photography on a 24-hour basis for meteorological research and operational use, and provide infrared data for study of earth's heat balance.

Four sensor systems weighing a total of 142 pounds were carried. The advanced vidicon camera system (AVCS) included three 1-inch cameras with 800-line resolution designed to photograph a 800,000 square mile area. A high resolution infrared radiometer provided time and was expected to yield a variety of geophysical and atmospheric data including cloud height information.

Technical data


Prime contractor  
Mass at launch 414 kg
Mass in orbit  
Dimension 1.45 m diameter x 3 m length
Solar array  
DC power  
Design lifetime  

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