Pat Shingleton: "Up, Up and Away...."
Today is the anniversary of the launch of Sputnik I. The Sputnik Program included a series of 41 unmanned space missions by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s to explore the upper atmosphere. On January 31, 1958, the first United States satellite, Explorer I, weighing only 18 pounds, detected the radiation belts that are now known to surround the Earth. On April 1, 1960 TIROS I, an acronym forTelevision and Infrared Observation Satellite, blasted-off from Cape Canaveral. Scientists were surprised that the TIROS I television images, for the first time, revealed the relationship between Earth's weather and cloud systems in the atmosphere. The first tropical cyclone detected by TIROS I was a typhoon east of Austrailia on April 10, 1960.