Explorer 1 was the first satellite launched by the United States when it was sent into space on January 31, 1958.
A half-century ago, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Explorer 1 spacecraft became America’s first Earth-orbiting satellite when it sailed into space on Jan. 31, 1958.
To say the least, it was incredible. The news relayed by the voice on the other end of the phone line hit the president of the San Gabriel Valley Radio Club like a blow to the head. Too incredible, Henry Richter hoped, to be true.
America entered the Space Age on January 31, 1958 with the launch of Explorer 1.
JPL designed and built -- and, in cooperation with the Army, launched -- Explorer 1, the first U.S. satellite and the first spacecraft ever to return scientific data from space.› View This Video
This Army newsreel recounts the tense and exciting days leading up to the launch of Explorer 1, the satellite that kicked of U.S. space exploration.› View This Video
Everything changed on October 4, 1957, when the world heard the beeps of the Soviet Sputnik orbiting the Earth.
An artificial satellite is a manufactured object that continuously orbits a body in space and gathers information about the body it orbits.