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astronautix.com Explorer A

Explorer 1
Explorer 1 - Explorer 1 / Explorer A

Credit: NASA. 11,241 bytes. 320 x 205 pixels.



Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere. Nation: USA. Agency: U.S. Army.

Discovered Van Allen radiation belts. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space.


Specification

Total Mass: 5 kg.


Explorer A Chronology


25 June 1954 Project Orbiter begun. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.

In a meeting, Dr. Wernher von Braun, Frederick C. Durant III, Alexander Satin, David Young, Dr. Fred L. Whipple, Dr. S. Fred Singer, and Commander George W. Hoover agreed that a Redstone rocket with a Loki cluster as the second stage could launch a satellite into a 200-mile orbit without major new developments. This became a joint Army-Navy study project after meeting at Redstone Arsenal on August 3. Project Orbiter was a later outgrowth of this proposal and resulted in the launching of Explorer I on January 31, 1958.


15 August 1954 Von Braun proposes launch of US satellite. Program: Explorer. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.

Von Braun report 'A Minimum Satellite Vehicle Based on Components Available from Developments of the Army Ordnance Corps' in response to June Pentagon meeting proposes $ 100,000 to launch satellite by Redstone.


24 August 1955 Redstone recommended as satellite launcher. Program: Explorer. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.

Research and development Policy Council (DOD) unanimously recommended that the time-risk factor in the scientific satellite program be brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Defense for determination as to whether a Redstone backup program was indicated.


05 October 1957 Von Braun promises first US satellite in 60 days. Program: Explorer. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.

Von Braun briefs Secretary of Defence McElroy on Jupiter-C/Redstone for immediate US satellite launch. Promises launch in 60 days. Medaris says 90.


01 February 1958 Explorer 1 Program: Explorer. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. Mass: 5 kg. Perigee: 347 km. Apogee: 1,859 km. Inclination: 33.2 deg.

Explorer I, the first U.S. earth satellite, was launched by a modified Army Ballistic Missile Agency Jupiter-C. Explorer I, developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, carried the U.S.-IGY (International Geophysical Year) experiment of James A. Van Allen and resulted in the discovery of the radiation belt around the earth.


05 March 1958 Explorer 2 Program: Explorer. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. FAILURE: Fourth Stage failed to ignite. Mass: 5 kg.
26 March 1958 Explorer 3 Program: Explorer. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. Mass: 5 kg. Perigee: 186 km. Apogee: 2,799 km. Inclination: 33.4 deg.

Radiation, micrometeoroid data.



Bibliography:



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .