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This is a replica of a Pioneer satellite intended to orbit the moon. Pioneer 1 was launched on October 11, 1958, but the final velocity was insufficient to escape the earth's gravity. The resulting trajectory took the satellite to an altitude of 70,700 mi. During the flight, the spacecraft transmitted 43 hours of scientific data. It burned up upon reentry into the earth's atmosphere two days later. This replica was assembled in 1963 by the prime contractor, Space Technology Laboratories Inc (TRW) from original parts that failed to meet flight specifications. It was displayed at the Los Angeles Museum of Science until February 1964 and then donated to the Smithsonian Institution by TRW. It was displayed in the NASM Satellites gallery from 1976 to 1983, loaned to the Scottish Museum from May to December 1984, and then was part of a SI Traveling exhibition. It is now in display storage at the Hazy Center.

Display Status

This object is on display in Destination Moon at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Destination Moon
Object Details
Country of Origin United States of America Type SPACECRAFT-Uncrewed Manufacturer TRW Space & Technology Group
Dimensions Overall: 2 ft. 5 in. wide x 2 ft. 6 in. deep, 24 lb. (73.7 x 76.2cm, 10.9kg)
Materials Shell - laminated plastic
Adhesive Tape
Copper Alloy
Adhesive Sticker
Alternate Name Pioneer 1 satellite Inventory Number A19640665000 Credit Line Gift of TRW Space Technology Laboratories Data Source National Air and Space Museum Restrictions & Rights Open Access (CCO)
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