Scientist giving a vibration test to TIROS, Television Infrared Observation Satellite, at the Astro-Electronic Products Division of RCA in Princeton, New Jersey. TIROS was NASA's first experimental step to determine if satellites could be useful to study the Earth. The first priority of the TIROS program was the development of a meteorological satellite information system. It provided the first accurate weather forecasts based on data gathered from space. The first TIROS was launched on April 1, 1960, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and was operational for 78 days. The satellite was designed and constructed by Radio Corporation of America (RCA) under the technical supervision of the U.S. Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory, Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey.