When Did the United States Launch Its First Satellite Into Space and Who Designed the Satellite Explorer 1?

The Soviet launch of Sputnik spurred the United States to get its first satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit.

The National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), adopted a U.S. Navy plan called Vanguard to launch the country’s first satellite.

However, the satellite’s test run, in December 1957, burned on the ground.

Explorer 1 was successfully launched into orbit around Earth on January 31, 1958.

Explorer 1 was designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the Jupiter-C rocket that carried the satellite was modified by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) to accommodate the payload.

The rocket became known as the Juno I.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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