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Launch Night Success
Explorer 1 held aloft at briefing announcing its success

A model of Explorer 1, held by JPL's Director William Pickering, scientist James Van Allen and rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun (from left to right). The team was gathered at a news conference at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., to announce the satellite’s successful launch. America’s first satellite, Explorer 1 had launched a few hours before, on Jan. 31, 1958, at 10:48 p.m. EST.

Image courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech

JPL photo number P8485

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