FROM STEEP HILLS
TO SATELLITES

Into the Heavens

On April 1, 1960, the Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) reached orbit and sent back the first serial images of the Earth’s weather patterns, sparking an era of more accurate weather prediction.

Still, airplanes were not out of the remote-sensing business. In 1962 imagery from a stratosphere-buzzing U-2 spy plane confirmed the existence of a Soviet missile base in Cuba. Other planes allowed the U.S. to create an aerial archive and the world’s most accurate maps.

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