This is a 1:48 scale model of the Jupiter-C, a four-stage rocket developed by the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency that used a modified Redstone ballistic missile as its first stage. In 1956 and 1957 it was used to launch components of the Jupiter intermediate-range ballistic missile for testing purposes. After the USSR launched the world's first satellite (Sputnik I) in October 1957, the Army placed America's first satellite (Explorer I) in orbit on January 31, 1958, using the Jupiter-C. The rocket was used several more times in the following two years to launch subsequent Explorer and Beacon satellites. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center built this model and transferred it to NASM in 1972.
Gift of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center