Mission typeWeather satellite
COSPAR ID1966-016A
SATCAT no.2091
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerRCA Astro
Launch mass286 kilograms (631 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch dateFebruary 3, 1966, 13:55 (1966-02-03UTC13:55Z) UTC[2]
RocketDelta C
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17B
End of mission
DeactivatedOctober 16, 1970 (1970-10-17)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Semi-major axis7,115.60 kilometers (4,421.43 mi)
Perigee altitude1,355 kilometers (842 mi)
Apogee altitude1,415 kilometers (879 mi)
Period113.5 minutes
EpochFebruary 28, 1966
← ESSA-1
ESSA-3 →

ESSA-2 (or OT-2) was a spin-stabilized operational meteorological satellite. Its name was derived from that of its oversight agency, the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA).


Launch of ESSA-2.

ESSA-2 was launched on February 28, 1966 at 13:55 UTC. It was launched atop a Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft had a mass of 132 kilograms (291 lb) at the time of launch. ESSA-2 had an inclination of 101.3°, and an orbited the earth once every 113 minutes. Its perigee was 1,355 kilometers (842 mi) and its apogee was 1,455 kilometers (904 mi).


ESSA-2 was a sun-synchronous polar-orbiting weather satellite whose mission was to provide real-time pictures of cloud cover using the automatic picture transmission system. These cloud cover pictures were used by meteorologists for use in weather forecasting and analysis. The satellite provided useful cloud pictures for more than 4 years before the camera systems were placed in standby mode on March 20, 1970. ESSA-2 was fully deactivated on October 16, 1970.[1]


  1. ^ a b "ESSA 2". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved June 4, 2018.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration document: "ESSA 2". Retrieved June 4, 2018.