ESSA 1.jpg
An ESSA satellite
Mission typeWeather satellite
COSPAR ID1968-114A
SATCAT no.3615
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerRCA Astro
Launch mass297 kilograms (655 lb)[2]
Start of mission
Launch dateDecember 15, 1968, 17:21:04 (1968-12-15UTC17:21:04Z) UTC[3]
RocketDelta N
Launch siteVandenberg SLC-2E
End of mission
DeactivatedMarch 12, 1976 (1976-03-13)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Semi-major axis7,816.70 kilometers (4,857.07 mi)
Perigee altitude1,421 kilometers (883 mi)
Apogee altitude1,470 kilometers (910 mi)
Inclination101.31 degrees
Period114.63 minutes
EpochDecember 7, 2013, 13:01:30 UTC[4]
← ESSA-7
ESSA-9 →

ESSA-8 was a weather satellite launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on December 15, 1968, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Its name was derived from that of its oversight agency, the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA).

ESSA-8 was an 18-sided polygon. It measured 42 inches (110 cm) in diameter by 22 inches (56 cm) in height, with a mass of 130 kilograms (290 lb). It was made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel covered with 10,020 solar cells. The cells charged 63 nickel–cadmium batteries, which served as a power source. The satellite could take 8 to 10 pictures every 24 hours. Each photo covered a 2,000-square-mile (5,200 km2) area at a resolution of 2 miles (3.2 km) per pixel.

ESSA-8's mission was to replace ESSA-6, and provide detailed cloud pattern photography to ground stations worldwide. Partners in the project included NASA, ESSA, RCA, the National Weather Service, and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NMC).

ESSA-8 operated for 2,644 days until it was deactivated on March 12, 1976.


  1. ^ "ESSA". NASA Science. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  2. ^ "ESSA 8". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  4. ^ "ESSA 8 (TOS-F) Satellite details 1968-114A NORAD 3615". N2YO. December 7, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2013.

External links