Explorer I Sattellite

Explorer I was the U.S.'s first satellite on January 31, 1958. It carried an instrument package developed by a team directed by Prof. James A. Van Allen and along with data returned by Explorer 3 (launched in March 1958) provided evidence for what are now known as the Van Allen Belts. That discovery is considered the first major scientific discovery of the space age.

The original back-up payload (identical to the one launched) is on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

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