Ariel 1 Satellite


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Science exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a replica of Ariel-1 satellite, the world's first internationally conceived and executed satellite. The flight model was designed and built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and carried six British experiments designed to study the ionosphere and its relationship to solar radiation, including cosmic ray, solar emission and ionospheric experiments. This first in a series of five satellites was launched on a Thor Delta rocket on April 26, 1962. Ariel-1 provided data from launch until September 1962 and sporadically after that until it was turned off in November 1964. The artifact was rebuilt from original parts by technicians at GSFC and transferred from NASA in 1975.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Country of Origin

United States of America


Basic structural material is epoxy-bonded fiberglas, aluminum and other light metals and plastics. The cylinder was constructed from wound monofilament and the domes built from fibers cross-woven into cloth; epoxy shell attached to internal aluminum structures which provide mounting surfaces for instruments.


Overall: 1 ft. 8 in. tall x 1 ft. 11 in. wide, 85 lb. (50.8 x 58.42cm, 38.6kg)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum