One of several replicas and backup Explorer-1 spacecraft in the collection. Explorer-1, also known as Satellite 1958 alpha, was the first American satellite to successfully orbit the earth. This sample is a full-size replica of the payload section attached to an empty fourth stage Sergeant solid fuel rocket motor. It was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in August 1974.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration