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Home > Explorer I > Explorer I Photos


  Explorer I Photos


  Click on each image below to see a larger image.

thumb001

In the Blockhouse
Activities in the blockhouse during the launch of Jupiter-C/Explorer I on January 31, 1958

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Dr. Wernher Von Braun
Explorer I became the first in the Explorer series of launches. Dr. Wernher von Braun is shown here inside the blockhouse during the launch of the Jupiter-C/Explorer III in March 1958

thumb003

Cutaway of Explorer
This is a cutaway illustration of the Explorer I satellite. The Explorer I satellite was America’s first scientific satellite launched aboard the Jupiter-C launch vehicle on January 31, 1958.

thumb004

Dr. Wernher Von Braun Holding the Huntsville Times
Dr. Wernher von Braun is presented with the front page of the Huntsville Times announcing the launch of Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite, which was boosted by the Jupiter-C launch vehicle developed by Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) under the direction of Dr. von Braun.

thumb005

Jupiter-C Carrying the First American Satellite
Explorer I rests atop a Jupiter-C in the gantry. Jupiter-C, carrying the first American satellite, Explorer I, was successfully launched on January 31, 1958. The Jupiter-C launch vehicle consisted of a modified version of the Redstone rocket’s first stage and two upper stages of clustered Sergeant rockets developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and later designated as Juno boosters for space launches.

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Jupiter-C Missile No. 27 Assembly
Jupiter-C Missile No. 27 is shown in assembly at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), in Huntsville. The Jupiter-C was a modification of the Redstone Missile, and originally developed as a nose cone re-entry test vehicle for the Jupiter Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM). Jupiter-C successfully launched the first American Satellite, Explorer I, in orbit on January 31, 1958.

thumb007

The Jupiter C Launch Vehicle
This illustration shows the main characteristics of the Jupiter-C launch vehicle and its payload, the Explorer I satellite.

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Installation of Explorer I
Installation of Explorer I, the first United States satellite, is installed on a Jupiter-C, in January 1958.

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America’s First Scientific Satellite
America’s first scientific satellite, Explorer I, carried the radiation detection experiment designed by Dr. James Van Allen and discovered the Van Allen Radiation Belt. It was launched aboard a modified Redstone rocket known as the Jupiter-C, developed by Dr. von Braun’s rocket team at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The satellite launched on January 31, 1958, just 3 months after the von Braun team received the go-ahead.

thumb010

Explorer Project Leaders
Explorer Project Leaders: Dr. Eberhard Rees, Major General Bruce Medaris, Dr. Wernher Von Braun, Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, and (behind) Mr. William Mrazek, and Dr. Walter Haeussermann.

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January 1958
In January 1958, a modified Redstone rocket lifted 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 I.

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The Juno Space Vehicle
This is the Juno space vehicle was used by NASA during the period 1958-61 to launch various earth satellites and space probes. The Marshall Space Flight Center assumed responsibility for the Juno after the Center was created in 1960.

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The Army’s Jupiter C Missile
Pictured in front of the Army’s Jupiter-C prior to launching of the first United States earth satellite at the Air Force Missile Test Center on January 31, 1958 are (left to right) Dr. Kurt Debus, Albert Zeiler, and Dr. Hans F. Gruene.

thumb014

Celebrating Explorer I (1958)
This is a photo of (from left to right) William Pickering of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. James Van Allen of the State University of Iowa, and Dr. Wernher Von Braun proclaiming the launch of Explorer I.

thumb015

Fireworks on the Courthouse Square
On January 31, 1958, a Jupiter-C rocket provided by a U.S. Army team from Huntsville, Alabama, launched Explorer I, America's first satellite into space. The event brought immediate attention to Huntsville, and residents celebrated with fireworks on the Courthouse Square.

thumb016

The Juno II Space Vehicle
This is the Juno II Space Vehicle used by NASA during the period 1958-61 to launch various earth satellites and space probes. A modified Jupiter missile served as the first stage, topped by solid-propellant upper stages furnished by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

thumb017

Jupiter-C on Pad
In January 1958, a modified Redstone rocket lifted the first American satellite into orbit just 3 months after the Dr. Wernher von Braun team received the go-ahead. This modified Redstone rocket was known as a Jupiter-C. Its satellite payload was called Explorer I.

thumb018

Explorer I
In January 1958, a modified Redstone rocket lifted 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 I.

thumb019

Jupiter-C Newpaper Headline
In January 1958, a modified Redstone rocket lifted 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 I.

thumb020

Celebrating Explorer I (1958)
This is a photo of (from left to right) William Pickering of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. James Van Allen of the State University of Iowa, and Dr. Wernher Von Braun proclaiming the launch of Explorer I.