) was the first weather satellite
. It was designed to test experimental techniques for taking television
footage of weather patterns from orbit, and was launched on April 1
from Cape Canaveral
. Though operational for only 78 days, it was successful in demonstrating that satellites were useful for surveying global atmospheric conditions from space.
Two television cameras were housed in the 270-pound craft, along with two magnetic tape recorders which could be used to store photographs when the satellite was out of communications range. Power was supplied by onboard batteries, charged by 9200 solar cells.