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weather satellites

Also called meteorological satellites, spacecraft that are used to monitor Earth's atmospheric conditions and provide data to help understand and predict global weather patterns. The first was TIROS-1 in 1960. Over the past four decades, the United States, Russia, Europe, and other nations have launched weather satellites into both polar orbits and geostationary orbits. Photographic histories of hurricane development and the discovery of large-scale coherence in cloud and other weather patterns have greatly helped weather forecasting.

For more details on specific programs and series of spacecraft see:

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