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Nimbus 5

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Status: Completed
Mission Category: Historical Missions
Launch Date: December 11, 1972
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA

The Nimbus 5 research-and-development satellite was designed to serve as a stabilized, earth-oriented platform for the testing of advanced meteorological sensor systems and to the collection of global-scale meteorological and geological data. The polar-orbiting spacecraft consisted of three major structures: (1) a hollow, ring-shaped sensor mount, (2) solar paddles, and (3) a control system housing. The solar paddles and control system housing were connected to the sensor mount by a truss structure, giving the satellite the appearance of an ocean buoy.

Key Nimbus 5 Facts

Mission/Portal Page:
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Instruments: ESMR (Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer)
ITPR (Infrared Temperature Profile Radiometer)
NEMS (Nimbus E Microwave Spectrometer)
SCMR (Surface Composition Mapping Radiometer)
SCR (Selective Chopper Radiometer)
THIR (Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer)
Project Scientist(s): Albert J. Fleig, Jr.

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Weather

Relevant Science Questions:

  • How is the global Earth system changing?

Science Goals:

  • The project objectives were to provide improved photographs of local cloud conditions by an automatic picture transmission (APT) system, and to evaluate an advanced vidicon camera system (AVCS) for daylight coverage and a high-resolution infrared radiometer system (HRIR) for night-time cloud-cover observation.

Related Applications:

  • Weather Prediction