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Vanguard II


US Navy

Launch Status


Vanguard II

Type: Earth Science

Vanguard II is an Earth orbiting satellite and the first weather satellite. It was designed to measure cloud-cover distribution over the daylight portion of its orbit for a period of 19 days and to provide information on the density of the atmosphere.


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Launch Complex 18A

Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

877 rockets have launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, USA.

Launch Complex 18A, Cape Canaveral, FL, USA


Vanguard – Lockheed Martin

  • Family: Vanguard
  • Length: 23 m
  • Diameter: 1.14 m
  • Launch Mass: 10 T
  • Low Earth Orbit Capacity: 9 kg

The Vanguard was manufactured by Lockheed Martin with the first launch on 1957-10-23. Vanguard has 3 successful launches and 8 failed launches with a total of 11 launches. 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.


US Navy – USN

  • Type: Government
  • Abbreviation: USN
  • Founded: 1963
  • Spacecraft: Vanguard 1-3 | Parker Solar Probe
  • Country: USA

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.

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