the era of space exploration for the US, the First Explorer was launched into Earth orbit forty years ago (February 1, 1958) by the Army Ballistic Missle Agency. The Explorer I satellite weighed about 30 pounds, was 6 feet long, 6 inches in diameter and consisted of batteries, transmitters, and scientific instrumentation built into the fourth stage of a Jupiter-C rocket. Foreshadowing NASA and the adventurous and successful Explorer Program, Explorer I bolstered national prestige in the wake of Sputnik. The satellite also contributed to a spectacular scientific bonanza - the discovery of Earth-girdling belts of magnetically trapped charged particles now known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts.
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A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: spacecraft - explorer 1
Publications with words: spacecraft - explorer 1