FRENCH FIRST GLOBAL METEOROLOGIC EXPERIMENT
The first views of earth from space were not obtained from satellites but from converted military rockets in the early 1950s. It was not until 1 April 1960 that the first experimental meteorological satellite was launched by the USA and began to transmit basic, but very useful, cloud imagery. This satellite was such an effective proof of concept that by 1966 the USA had launched the first of a long line of operational polar satellites and its first geostationary meteorological satellite.
Summary provided by: http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/sat/CGMS/Directoryofapplications/en/ap...