SPUTNIK 1 (replica) and EXPLORER 1
First Artificial Satellites
Hanging above are copies of the first artificial satellites to orbit the Earth.
Sputnik 1 was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, and Explorer 1
was launched by the United States on January 31, 1958.
Sputnik 1 operated for 22 days, providing information about internal and
external temperatures and atmospheric and electron densities at high altitudes.
Explorer 1 operated for 105 days, transmitting data on micrometeoroids, cosmic
radiation, and internal and external temperatures. Data obtained from Explorer
1 and Explorer 3 (launched in March 1958) revealed the existence of the Van Allen
radiation belts. This was the first major scientific discovery of the
Sputnik 1 on loan from the Science in Russia Exhibition of National
Explorer 1 transferred from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration
|Length (with rocket):
||203 cm (80 in)
||15 cm (6 in)
||13.9 kg (30.7 lb)
||58 cm (23 in)
||83.6 kg (184 lb)
||A 1 Sputnik