Satellite, Explorer 1 (Replica), 1958, Original launch date February 1958
This is a Satellite. It was manufactured by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.
Explorer 1 was the first successful US Earth-orbiting satellite. As with many tools of exploration, the satellite’s design was determined by its history and use. After successful launches from the Soviet Union and a failed American attempt, Explorer 1 was rapidly developed to achieve orbit. It was mounted externally on top of a modified sounding rocket, an arrangement that required the satellite to incorporate its own rocket booster—it took up the back half—to achieve final orbit. The launch method also called for a conical nose, to minimize drag during ascent through the atmosphere. Explorer 1’s front half contained detectors for cosmic rays and micrometeorites, electronics, batteries, and communication equipment. Four radio antennas extended from the middle of the satellite.
It is credited
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Transferred from the US Army Ordnance Museum, A19890568000.
Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.
Its dimensions are
L x diam (excluding antennas): 174 × 15.2 cm (68 1/2 in. × 6 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.