- Type: Earth Science
- Orbit: Low Earth Orbit
The Vanguard satellite was a 13 inch spherical satellite which contained a precise magnetometer to map the Earth’s magnetic field. The satellite was lost together with the Vanguard Balloon when the Vanguard launch vehicle second stage was damaged during staging.
Launch Complex 18A
Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Launch Complex 18A has witnessed the launch of 18 rockets, including 11 orbital launch attempts, while Cape Canaveral, FL, USA, has been the site for 931 rocket launches.
Lockheed Martin Vanguard
The Vanguard rocket was intended to be the first launch vehicle the United States would use to place a satellite into orbit. Instead, the Sputnik crisis caused by the surprise launch of Sputnik 1 led the U.S., after the failure of Vanguard TV3, to quickly orbit the Explorer 1 satellite using a Juno I rocket, making Vanguard I the second successful U.S. orbital launch.
The Navy was competed with the Army to put the first American satellite into orbit. Their first two Vanguard missions failed, with the second being a highly publicized failure, as it exploded on the launchpad. They went on to put 3 satellites into orbit but did not beat the Army to be the first. Their work in space continues today largely on military satellites.