This is a full-scale replica of an Explorer 8 spacecraft. The satellite was launched on November 3, 1960 atop a Juno II vehicle and successfully went into an elliptical orbit. It carried six specialized instruments designed to study the field of charged particles called the ionosphere as well as micrometeorite impacts. Explorer 8 continued to provide data until December 27, 1960. This is one of two specimens in the collection and was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in August 1972 by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.