|Launch vehicle.||Mercury Scout.|
|Launch date.||23 Aug 1962.|
|Launch site.||Va LC-D.|
|Ceased operations.||N\A, but oviosly did long ago.|
|Major contractor(s)||American DoD.|
|Is it still in orbit.||N\A.|
|Satellite type.||Military weather satellite.|
|Links.||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_Meteorological_Satellite_Program and http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/toolbox/missions/dmsp.html.|
The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) monitors meteorological, oceanographic, and solar-terrestrial physics for the United States Department of Defense. The program is managed by the Air Force Space Command with on-orbit operations provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The (originally classified) mission of the satellites was revealed in March 1973. They provide cloud cover imagery from polar orbits that are sun-synchronous at nominal altitude of 450 nautical miles (830 km).
During the 1960s, one of the most important projects that the United States civil space program was involved in dealt with meteorology and weather forecasting. Unbeknownst to many, the U.S. military services were also starting up a weather satellite program. This program, the DMSP, would relay important weather and climate data to the military for more effective operations. From the onset of the DMSP program, knowledge of its existence was limited to "need-to-know" personnel. The United States Congress had assigned a substantial budget towards the civil weather satellite program; if knowledge of a second military program came out, it would have been hard for the military to justify it.