TIROS 6 (also called TIROS-F) was a spin-stabilized meteorological satellite. It was the sixth in a series of Television Infrared Observation Satellites.

TIROS VI satellite used in Parade of Progress Show.jpg
Mission typeWeather satellite
Harvard designation1962 αψ1
COSPAR ID1962-047A
SATCAT no.397
Mission duration1 year and 1 month
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeTIROS
ManufacturerRCA Astro / GSFC
Launch mass127.5 kilograms (281 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch dateSeptember 18, 1962, 08:52 (1962-09-18UTC08:52Z) UTC[2]
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17A
End of mission
Last contactOctober 21, 1963 (1963-10-22)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude686 kilometers (426 mi)[1]
Apogee altitude712 kilometers (442 mi)[1]
Period98.70 minutes[1]
EpochSeptember 18, 1962[1]
Television Camera System


TIROS 6 was launched on September 18, 1962, by a Thor-Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, United States. The spacecraft functioned nominally until October 21, 1962. The satellite orbited the Earth once every 1 hour and 38 minutes, at an inclination of 58.3°. Its perigee was 686 kilometers (426 mi) and apogee was 712 kilometers (442 mi).[1]


TIROS 6 was designed to further demonstrate the capability of a spacecraft to observe, record, and transmit TV cloud cover pictures for use in operational weather analysis and forecasting. The spin-stabilized satellite was in the form of an 18-sided right prism, 107 cm across opposite corners and 56 cm high, with a reinforced baseplate carrying most of the subsystems and a cover assembly. Electric energy was supplied to the spacecraft by approximately 9000 1-by 2-cm silicon solar cells mounted on the cover assembly and by 21 nickel-cadmium batteries.

A single monopole antenna for reception of ground commands extended from the top of the cover assembly. A pair of crossed-dipole telemetry antennas (235 MHz) projected down and diagonally out from the baseplate. The satellite spin rate was maintained between 8 and 12 rpm by the use of five diametrically opposed pairs of small solid-fuel thrusters mounted around the edge of the baseplate. Proper attitude was maintained to within a 1° to 2° accuracy by use of a magnetic control device consisting of 250 cores of wire wound around the outer surface of the spacecraft.

The interaction between the induced magnetic field in the spacecraft and the earth's magnetic field provided the necessary torque for attitude control. TIROS-5 was equipped with two 1.27-cm vidicon TV cameras, one medium angle and one wide angle, for taking earth cloudcover pictures. The pictures were transmitted directly to either of two ground receiving stations or were stored in a tape recorder on board for subsequent playback, depending on whether the satellite was within or beyond the communication range of the station.

TIROS-6 performed normally from launch until November 29, 1962, when the medium-angle camera vidicon failed. The wide-angle camera vidicon system failed on October 21, 1963, and the spacecraft was deactivated shortly thereafter.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "TIROS 6". National Space Science Data Center Master Catalog. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Retrieved June 4, 2018.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "TIROS 6 (1962-047A)". NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Retrieved June 4, 2018.

External linksEdit

  • Real Time Satellite Tracking - TIROS 6. N2yo.com.