BackForward Satellite Programme: Television and Infra-Red Observation Satellite 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Series of 10 experimental satellite for meteorology.
  • From a historical viewpoint, considered as the 1st generation of NOAA polar satellites.
  • USA programme: NASA responsible of development and operations,
  • The satellites were spin-stabilised with space orientation, except TIROS-9 that had spin axis perpendicular to the orbital plane ("cartwheel" configuration).
  • The design lifetime was 6 months.
  • The orbits were drifting, with medium inclination, except TIROS-9 and TIROS-10 that had sunsynchronous orbits around 9:30.
  • The replacement policy was to launch satellites at roughly 6-month intervals.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • Data onboard stored and downlinked to NASA stations, except for TIROS-8 that, in addition, introduced the Automatic Picture Transmission (APT).
Agencies NASA
Programme lifetime 1960 - 1968
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned