This is an engineering prototype of Orbiting Solar Observatory 1 (OSO-1), the earliest of the spin stabilized scientific satellites. This object touted the ability of the satellite's systems to search out and lock onto a "solar" image. It demonstrated the sun-pointing capabilities of the satellite. It contains actual instruments in the octagonal spin section, and mock-ups in the pointed section, save for the photoelectric eye block. Ball Aerospace Systems Division restored this engineering prototype in 1982.
Transferred from the NASA to the Museum in 1981.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration