The Nimbus program was a U.S. weather satellite research program of the second generation. It included the launch of eight satellites (including a false start ). The Nimbus program was carried out in parallel with the TIROS program. The satellites were located in sun-synchronous polar orbits.
Nimbus -7 was the first satellite to NASA for global environmental monitoring. Mainly Earth's atmosphere, oceans, ocean-atmosphere exchange and heat balance of the earth were researched. For the first time specifically designed for the observation of ocean color was the Multispektrallinienscanner (6 channels) Coastal Zone Color Scanner ( CZCS ), which worked until 1986. Successor of this sensor SeaWiFS and MODIS are on Aqua.
Nimbus B1 crashed after takeoff from Vandenberg AFB in 1968 near the California coast into the sea. The plutonium capsules of the two radioisotopes generators of the satellite could be recovered undamaged from relatively shallow water.