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||Early on, the Huntsville team developed the Redstone rocket,
also known as "Old Reliable" because of its many diverse
missions. The Redstone was a high-accuracy, liquid-propelled,
surface-to-surface missile. The Von Braun team loped and launched
the first Redstone missile in August 1953.
||The Army Ballistic Missile Agency incorporated the Von Braun
team in key positions with Dr. Von Braun as head of the Development
Operations Division. On October 4, 1957, the nation was shocked
when the Russians launched Sputnik, the world's first artificial
satellite. Two months later, the United States suffered disappointment
when a Navy Vanguard rocket, with its satellite payload, failed
to develop sufficient thrust and toppled over on the launch
||Due to their foresight in planning and preparation, the Von
Braun team was ready when the United States turned to the Huntsville
group to launch America's first satellite.
||In January 1958, a modified Redstone rocket lofted the first
American satellite into orbit just 3 months after the Von Braun
team received the go-ahead. This modified Redstone rocket was
known as a Jupiter-C. Its satellite payload was called Explorer
||The announcement that Explorer I had become the first American
satellite to orbit the Earth represented a moment of triumph
and focused national attention on the Von Braun team's launch
||Von Braun and his team were responsible for the Jupiter-C
hardware. The family of launch vehicles, developed by the team,
also came to include the Juno II used to launch the Pioneer
IV satellite on March 3, Pioneer IV passed within 37,000 miles
of the moon before going into solar orbit.