NOAA / ESSA satellite seriesNASA and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration launch NOAA-3, a weather satellite intended to operate in a near-polar low Earth orbit. NOAA-3 is based on the already-flown ITOS satellite design, and will wait in orbit until March 1974, when the failure of an instrument aboard its predecessor, NOAA-2, requires putting NOAA-3 on full weather-watching duty, where it will remain without any major malfunctions through August 1976.