America’s first two satellites (1958)

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America's first two satellites-march-1958

Pioneers in space – America’s first two satellites at a glance

Explorer I

Launched: Jan 31, 1958

Weight: 30.8 pounds

Speed: 16,100 to 18,740 miles per hour

Period of orbit: 1 hour, 54.8 minutes

Lowest altitude: 224 miles

Highest altitude: 1,573 miles

Appearance: Cylinder, 80 inches long, 6 inches in diameter, bullet nose

Data revealed: Temperature inside satellite, skin temperature, cosmic-ray activity, meteorite density

Future life: Up to 10 years

Vanguard I

Vanguard I-satelliteLaunched: March 17, 1958

Weight: 3.2 pounds

Speed: 12,430 to 18,420 miles per hour

Period of orbit: 2 hours, 14 minutes

Lowest altitude: 404 miles

Highest altitude: 2,466 miles

Appearance: Ball, 6.4 inches in diameter, with 6 “windows” serving as solar batteries

Data revealed: Temperature inside satellite, skin temperature

Future life: 5 to 10 years

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