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launched October 13, 1959
Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, atop a Juno II rocket, Explorer VII carried instruments designed by Verner Suomi and Robert Parent that carried out the first ever satellite measurements of the Earth's climate, especially of its heat balance. The satellite and its instruments were powered by approximately 3000 solar cells mounted on both the upper and lower shells. Additional power was provided by 15 nickel-cadmium batteries.
The scientists discovered that the Earth absorbed more of the Sun's energy than originally thought and demonstrated that it was possible to measure and quantify seasonal changes in the global heat budget.
Useful real-time data were transmitted from launch through February 1961 and intermittently until August 24, 1961. As of 2016 it is still in orbit.
Total Weight 91½ pounds
Orbital Perigee 311 miles
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This page was last updated on 04/14/2017.