This full-size mock-up of the Explorer 8 spacecraft is one of two specimens of this satellite in the collection. Explorer 8 was launched on November 3, 1960 atop a Juno II vehicle and successfully went into orbit. The spacecraft carried six specialized instruments designed to study the field of charged particles that surround the earth called the ionosphere. Explorer 8 continued to provide data until December 27, 1960. The mock-up was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in May 1974 by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, where the flown version was built and operated.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration