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Nimbus 3


Designation 03890 / 69037A
Launch date 14 Apr 1969
Country of origin United States
Mission Meteorology
Perigee/Apogee 1069/1128 km
Inclination 100°
Period 107.2 min
Launch vehicle Thor Agena D
Launch site Vandenberg

Nimbus 3 was a replacement for Nimbus 3A. Nimbus 3 was the first United States satellite to make night and day global measurements from space of temperatures of the atmosphere, both over extended periods and, for the first time, at varying levels vertically. While meteorological objectives were primary, this mission also gathered vital oceanographic data for scientific purposes other than solely for weather forecasting. Another mission objective was to provide data for the first experiment of the U.S.A. portion of the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP), which was an international program of formulating and coordinating research for achieving long-range global weather forecasting.

Technical data


Prime contractor  
Mass at launch  
Mass in orbit 635 kg
Dimension 3 x 3.35 m
Solar array  
Stabilization 3-axis
DC power  
Design lifetime  

Has a SNAP engine

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