This is a plastic full-scale model of the Alouette 1 satellite. The original, Canada's first space satellite, was designed to study the ionosphere. It was launched from the Pacific Missile range on September 29, 1962 atop a Thor-Agena vehicle and placed into a nearly circular orbit with an apogee 617 miles and a perigee 646 miles, inclined 80 degrees to the equator. Two very long (150 ft., and 75 ft.) antennae were deployed after the spacecraft reached its station. The onboard instruments provided data for 10 years, far exceeding their expected lifetime. This low-fidelity model was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in August 1972. It was evidently fabricated in a mould, hence many copies should be in existence.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration