Dr. William H. Pickering, Dr. James A. van Allen, and Dr. Wernher von Braun Holding the Explorer 1 Satellite

Dr. William H. Pickering, Dr. James A. van Allen, and Dr. Wernher von Braun Holding the Explorer 1 Satellite at Press Conference
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Shown here are the three men responsible for the success of Explorer 1 (America's first Earth satellite), which was launched 31 January 1958.  At left is Dr. William H. Pickering, former director of JPL, which built and operated the satellite.  Dr. James A. van Allen, center, of the State University of Iowa, designed and built the instrument on Explorer that discovered the radiation belts which circle the Earth.  At right is Dr. Wernher von Braun, leader of the Army's Redstone Arsenal team which built the first stage Redstone rocket that launched Explorer 1.