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Excerpts from of Mike Gruntman's Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004 (Winner of a 2006 Award from the International Academy of Astronautics), Chapter 15 "Breakthrough."
(Book detailed table of contents; list of figures)

comparative sizes of first Soviet and American space launchersp. 345  –  comparative sizes of first Soviet and American space launchers
comparative sizes and masses of Sputnik 1, Explorer 1, and Vanguard 1 p. 375  –  comparative sizes and masses of Sputnik 1, Explorer 1, and Vanguard 1
timeline of major developments on the road to the ICBM and first satellites p. 376  –  timeline of major developments on the road to the ICBM and first satellites

The history of the words of science
astronautics and cosmonautics
and the space pioneers who introduced them

Sputnik 1
Vanguard 1

The Road to Space. The First Thousand Year (video); also on YouTube

Yuri GagarinYuri A. Gagarin

socks for Yuri GagarinSocks for the First Cosmonaut of Planet Earth

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Chapter 15. The Breakthrough (60 pages with 35 photos and figures; most figures not shown in the web version); from Blazing the Trail

Chapter 15 –contents:

Origins of Soviet ICBM. Mikhail Tikhonravov. Rocket packet. R-7 ICBM. Engines of Valentin Glushko. Vassilii Mishin and rocket suspension. Sergei Korolev. R-7 and Atlas. Difficult launches. Disintegrated warhead. Grigorii Kisunko. R-7 (SS-6) deployed. Artificial satellite. International Geophysical Year (IGY). Object D. “We are asking for permission …” Simplest satellite PS. Launch on 4 October 1957. Sputnik in orbit. Korolev under his real name. Two new stars. Chief designers of space systems. Unexpected Sputnik's radio frequencies. Crowning achievement. Rivalry in rocket and space establishment. Glushko's Energia-Buran. Veil of secrecy. Chief Designer Sergei Korolev and Chief Theoretician Mstislav Keldysh. Beginning of the R-7 Semyorka. Loadstar speaking for socialism. American reaction to Sputnik. Poor state of science education. Space Pearl Harbor. Soviet and American education and science. Chose to remain uninformed. Sputnik impact underestimated. Lack of priority. Chosen to be beaten. Object D launched. American rockets close the gap. Manned spaceflight. Soviet Vostok program. First man in space - Yurii Gagarin. Tireless care of Communist Party. Explorer and Vanguard. IGY. Project Orbiter. NRL proposal. Killian Report. President’s announcement and Soviet response. Stewart Committee. Selection of Vanguard and termination of Orbiter. NRL and Martin teams. New launch vehicle. Power plant. Comprehensive program. Minitrack. Worldwide network. Predecessor of STDN. Optical tracking system. Precise time. Computers for satellite tracking. Scientific instruments. Success of TV-0 and TV-1. Baby satellite. Solar cells. Attention focuses on Vanguard. Jupiter C. Hydyne. 20 September 1956. “Missed the boat in 1956.” TV-3 explodes. Army leaders at Redstone. Medaris charges ahead. Microlock. Discovery of radiation belts. Micrometeorite sensors. Passive thermal control. Spacecraft spin. Explorer 1 in orbit. Evolution of Explorer 1 spin axis. Dancing in the streets of Huntsville. Vanguard 1 in orbit. The oldest man-made object in orbit. Birth of NASA. Freedom of space accepted. National space effort. Presidential science advisor. National debate. Scientific-technological elite. National Aeronautics and Space Act. T. Keith Glennan. NACA centers. Transfer o f JPL. Marshall Space Flight Center. Beltsville Space Center. Science and applications. Communication satellites. Echo satellites. Manned Spacecraft Center. Seven Mercury astronauts. Space report card for 1960. Kennedy challenges the nation. “I believe we should go to the Moon.”

...................................................

The road to the American satellite was bumpy, to say the least. The early enthusiasm about Earth-orbiting satellites in the immediate after-the-war years had gradually dissipated as a result of lack of government support. Not all activities, fortunately, stopped: dedicated space enthusiasts continued to publish scientific articles advocating small research satellites, and RAND was evaluating the utility of spacecraft for overhead reconnaissance.

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Blazing the Trail by Mike GruntmanThe same exigencies of the Cold War that had called for the ICBM pointed to satellite reconnaissance as a top national security priority. The studies performed by RAND with close participation of industrial contractors culminated in a report, issued in March 1954, on the Project Feed Back describing a military satellite equipped with a television camera. In addition, technology was rapidly advancing in many areas important for spacecraft, such as invention of the transistor in 1947 and practical (silicon-based with reasonable efficiency) solar cells in 1953, enabling significantly more efficient and capable satellites.

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From Astronautics to Cosmonautics by Mike GruntmanSeveral converging developments in the early 1950s would lead to the American satellite. In 1952, the International Council of Scientific Unions approved the concept of the International Geophysical Year. Subsequently, the National Academy of Sciences formed the United States National Committee for the IGY. The Committee was chaired by Joseph Kaplan who headed the University of California's Institute of Geophysics, later known as Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), since its foundation in 1944.

An American scientist, Lloyd V. Berkner, was a key figure in formulating and advancing the concept of the IGY. Subsequently he served as vice president of a special international committee arranging and coordinating the IGY activities. At its meeting in Rome, Italy, in October 1954, the committee accepted a proposal by American scientists (Berkner, Kaplan, Fred Singer, Homer E. Newell, Jr., James Van Allen, and several others) to recommend "that the thought be given to the launching of small satellite vehicles, to their scientific instrumentation, and to the new problems associated with the satellite experiments ..." (Green and Lomask 1971, 23). The National Academy of Sciences actively advocated and lobbied through various parts of the Eisenhower administration the idea of preparing and launching American scientific satellites as part of the IGY.

In September 1954, von Braun's group in Huntsville produced a report entitled "The Minimum Satellite Vehicle Based upon Components Available from Missile Development of the Army Ordnance Corps." The report argued that a 5-lb (2.2-kg) Earth-circling satellite could be placed in orbit using existing Army missile hardware by adding clusters of solid-propellant Loki rockets to the modified Redstone rocket serving as the first stage. In a couple of months, the Army and the Navy joined the resources of the ABMA's organization in Huntsville, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, and several industrial contractors in what was become known as Project Orbiter. The Navy took the responsibility for the payload and tracking facilities, while the Army's tasks included modifying the Redstone and developing the Loki rocket clusters.

Army's JPL conducted a feasibility study in support of Project Orbiter and suggested the substitution of the scaled-down Sergeant solid-propellant rockets, under development at JPL at that time, for the Loki rockets. This improvement should have allowed increase of the Orbiter's satellite payload to 18 lb (8 kg). The promising project would come, however, to a screeching halt in August 1955.

In early March 1955, the Naval Research Laboratory submitted two proposals to the Department of Defense, one by Milton W. Rosen advocating use of the modified Viking rocket for launch of a satellite and the other by John T. Mengel and Roger L. Easton for a "minimum trackable satellite (Minitrack)." Before submitting their Viking proposal, assistant head of the NRL's Rocket Sonde Branch John W. Townsend and Rosen had an opportunity to see the earlier Army proposal for Project Orbiter.

Thus by the middle of 1955, there had been satellite programs under consideration by the National Academy of Sciences, by the Army, and by the Navy. In addition, the Air Force continued studies of large and complex reconnaissance satellite systems. Launching a satellite was also supported by the American Rocket Society that in November 1954 approached the director of the National Science Foundation, Alan T. Waterman, suggesting a study of the utility of an Earth-circling vehicle.

On 14 February 1955, the Technological Capabilities Panel (of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Office of Defense Mobilization) headed by James R. Killian, Jr., issued a report "Meeting the Threat of Surprise Attack." This was the same Killian Report that played an important role in accelerating development of the ICBM. The report recommended an immediate initiation of a program aimed at launching an American scientific satellite with the goal of asserting the principle of freedom of space.

By May 1955 the National Security Council endorsed and President Eisenhower approved a decision to launch artificial satellites as a U.S. contribution to the International Geophysical Year. The new policy specifically required that satellites should not distract resources from the Air Force's top-priority ICBM. Testing the principle of freedom of space by a scientific satellite was considered critically important for future satellite reconnaissance, and the new program had to demonstrate the right of overflight by spacecraft. Satellite reconnaissance became a top national security priority especially in the light of the rejection of the Eisenhower's open skies proposal by the Soviet leader Khrushchev at the Geneva summit of the Big Four powers in July 1955.

American plans to launch scientific satellites were announced on 29 July 1955, when President's Press Secretary James C. Haggerty made the following statement: "On behalf of the President, I am now announcing that the President has approved plans for this country for going ahead with the launching of small earth-circling satellites as part of the United States participation in the International Geophysical Year." The statement avoided any link to the national security rationale and designated the civilian National Science Foundation to direct the program, with "logistic and technical support" of the Department of Defense. American scientific satellites were thus clearly decoupled from any military applications.

American government deliberately played down the role of satellites in the future and in funding priorities. The military particularly had been instructed to avoid any mentioning of military space applications in public in order not to trigger debate over freedom of space. Many years later Bernard Schriever was still fuming about this policy and its consequences. "In 1957," recalled Schriever in 1972,

I made a speech at a joint symposium in San Diego about how the missile program was really creating the foundation for space. The day after I made the speech I got a wire signed by Secretary [of Defense] Wilson telling me never to use the word space again in any of my speeches. In October [1957], Sputnik came along, and for the next 18 months or so after, I was going back and forth to Washington at least four times a month testifying before committees or meeting in the Pentagon as to why we couldn't move faster in the missile program. (Schriever 1972, 60)

Although it might have been a wise policy for assuring the acceptance of future space reconnaissance missions, the Eisenhower administration clearly underestimated the prestige, national pride, and psychological factors of a satellite launch.


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Eisenhower's approval of launching scientific satellites had thus set the American policy, and the Department of Defense was charged with its implementation. Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald A. Quarles appointed a special panel, the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Special Capabilities, under JPL's Homer J. Stewart, to consider satellite proposals from the Army, based on Project Orbiter, and from the NRL, based on advancement of its Viking sounding rocket. (The Air Force also offered the Atlas B as a launcher should other satellite proposals be found unacceptable to meet the IGY goals. The Committee shelved this suggestion because of the danger of interference with the top-priority ICBM program.) In a contentious five-to-two vote in the early August, the Stewart Committee selected the NRL proposal, which would become known as the Vanguard program.

Project Orbiter advocated by ABMA's John Medaris and Wernher von Braun had thus been terminated. As Medaris described it later in Senate hearings, "the decision was made that the national satellite effort would be the Vanguard effort, and no funds were available for any further work [by the Army Ordnance]" (Hearings 1958, 1699). When Medaris was asked whether it was "correct that at one point when expressed orders were sent down to the Army not to launch a satellite, auditors ... checked on your agency [ABMA] to make certain that the orders were obeyed," he replied that "there were some people who came down [to Huntsville] to take a look and be sure that I was not fudging" (Hearings 1958, 557).

.......

While the Vanguard development was steadily advancing, the Army was waiting for its chance. The Army Ordnance was well prepared for satellite launch. When ABMA was ruled out of the satellite effort in 1955, its activities on the Project Orbiter were redirected to testing reentry vehicles. This reentry test vehicle (RTV) program required a multistage missile to provide sufficient velocities for validation of the technology for the nose cones being developed for the Jupiter IRBM. A special new missile Jupiter C (C stood for a composite vehicle) was authorized in September 1955.

Redstone and Jupiter-C missiles

Figure 15.12 (from: M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004). Redstone (left) and Jupiter C (right) missiles at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Jupiter C consisted of the elongated Redstone as the first stage and added upper stages of clusters of scaled-down solid-propellant Sergeant rockets. The Jupiter C was developed for the Army program to test the nose cone reentry and demonstrated that it was capable of launching an Earth satellite in 1956. The Army proposed to use this launcher for Project Orbiter in 1956. Photo courtesy of Mike Gruntman.

The Jupiter C consisted of an elongated Redstone as the first stage and two upper stages of clustered scaled-down Sergeant rockets, similar to the original Project Orbiter concept. The Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation Company introduced a new more efficient fuel for the Redstone engine, hydyne (60% UDMH and 40% diethylenetriamine). As von Braun described it, hydyne "yields from 10 to 15 per cent more specific impulse than does alcohol and can be used in an engine designed for alcohol and liquid oxygen without major modification" (von Braun 1959, 127).

Eleven modified solid-propellant Sergeant rockets formed the second-stage annular ring of the Jupiter C. The third stage, a cluster of three Sergeant rockets, filled the inner space of the ring. The fourth stage was a single modified Sergeant motor. Two battery-powered electrical motors spun up the upper stages before launch in order to reduce dispersion of the thrust vector, which was especially important in the case of clustered motors with the inevitable differences in thrust and alignment of individual motor units. In addition, the spinning upper stage provided gyroscopic stability. Spinning of solid-propellant motors remains a standard technique still in use today to minimize thrust dispersion and to avoid complications of active thrust vector control.

A high point of the Army's RTV program was a Cape Canaveral launch on 20 September 1956 of the multistage Jupiter C vehicle for a separation test. The follow-on launches would carry test nose cones. On this launch, however, the payload consisted of 20 lb (9 kg) of instrumentation attached to an inactive fourth stage. The missile reached an altitude 682 miles (1097 km) and impacted the area 3335 miles (5366 km) downrange in the Atlantic Ocean. If the ABMA were allowed to use a Sergeant missile instead of the inactive fourth stage, as it would later do launching the Explorer I, a satellite could have been deployed in orbit on that day. The ABMA had thus clearly demonstrated the capabilities of placing small satellites in orbit by September 1956, but was not permitted a space launch. This Army achievement was what Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee meant in January 1958 when he said during senate hearings that "with the ABMA program ... we [the United States] missed the boat back in 1956" (Hearings 1958, 1717).

first space launchers

Figure 15.9 (from: M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004). The first Soviet ICBM R-7 was significantly larger and heavier than the first American ICBM Atlas. The modified R-7 deployed the first artificial Earth satellite Sputnik and later launched the first cosmonaut Yurii Gagarin. The first American satellite Explorer I was put into orbit by the Juno-1, a variant of the Jupiter C modified for satellite launch. By the end of 1958, all three shown American rockets, Juno-1, Vanguard, and modified Atlas, launched satellites into Earth orbit. Figure courtesy of Mike Gruntman.

After the successful 20 September 1956 shot, the Army repeatedly tried to get a permission to launch a satellite. As General Medaris described it,

we [the Army] had on hand a backup missile for that one still in the original [four-stage] satellite configuration, and at varying times during this period [after September 1956] we suggested informally and verbally that if they [Department of Defense] wanted a satellite we could use that backup missile as a satellite ... . In various languages our fingers were slapped and we were told to mind our own business, that Vanguard was going to take care of the satellite problem. (Hearings 1958, 1700)

All attempts by the Army's ABMA to get permission to launch a satellite were in vain so far ....

.....

The launch of the first Soviet satellite on 4 October 1957 found the newly appointed Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy and Secretary of the Army Wilbur M. Brucker visiting the ABMA in Huntsville, Alabama. John Medaris and Wernher von Braun took the opportunity, dramatized by Sputnik in orbit, to plead again for the permission to proceed with the launch of a satellite. Three space-capable vehicles based on the Jupiter C were left over from the RTV program, and they were stored in Huntsville.

To save time and anticipating the go-ahead from Washington, General Medaris boldly ordered to start the preparation of the launcher. A few weeks elapsed with large sums of money being spent on an unauthorized program without any word from the Department of Defense. Medaris would have likely ended up court-martialed had the decision been negative or significantly delayed or had the satellite launch failed. In the meantime the second Soviet satellite was put in orbit on 3 November. Finally, the Secretary of Defense directed the Army, on 8 November 1957 to launch two satellites. The revived Army satellite program was soon expanded to a series of Explorer satellites.

The first Army launch vehicle was designated the Juno 1, and ABMA and JPL embarked on a crash program to prepare the launcher and to build the satellite. For tracking and telemetry, the satellite relied on both the Navy's Minitrack and on the Microlock system designed and built by the Army's JPL. The Microlock was a combination of a simple, low-weight, low-power onboard transmitter and a complementary ground-receiving station; the system provided an angular tracking accuracy up to 4 arcmin. Microlock stations were located in California, Florida, Singapore, Nigeria, and other places.

......

The cylindrically shaped spacecraft was spin-stabilized with the spin rate 750 rpm, providing gyroscopic stability. The spin of the upper stages commenced 13 min prior to launch. At takeoff, the nominal spin rate was 550 rpm, and it gradually increased to 750 rpm in 115 s. This very high spin rate of the satellite raised concerns about the loads on and performance of the miniaturized data tape recorder developed for the original Vanguard instrumentation package. Therefore, the recorder was removed. As a result, only the measurement data obtained by the spacecraft flying over receiving stations were recorded on the ground. Good signals would be received for up to 10 min on a single pass with the spacecraft in apogee. The payload was mounted directly on the vehicle fourth stage, a scaled-down Sergeant solid-propellant motor, and they would stay together in orbit.

Explorer I carried two fully transistorized continuously operating transmitters with the 10- and 60-mW outputs. The high-power 60-mW transmitter supported a turnstile antenna consisting of four wires perpendicular to the payload section of the satellite. The 108.03-MHz circularly polarized radiation was amplitude-modulated for data transmission to the Minitrack stations. The transmitter was designed to operate at least two weeks.

The lower-power transmitter provided a 10-mW power output from a dipole antenna at the frequency 108.00 MHz . The antenna was formed by electrically spliting two halves of the payload. The linearly polarized radiation was phase-modulated for data transmission to the Microlock receivers. It was anticipated that the low-power transmitter would operate for two months.

The Air Force test range could support only one launch at a time, and its services had to be shared by the Navy's and Army's launch crews. The day for the Army launch was set for 29 January 1958. In the meantime, the Vanguard team worked frantically throughout January attempting to launch the TV-3 backup missile, the TV-3BU. Bad weather and malfunctioning of the rocket and ground equipment frustrated the Navy effort and scrubbed all launch attempts. On 26 January the Vanguard was removed from the launching pad — its next launch attempt was scheduled for 3 February.

The Army team had now a very brief launch window until 31 January. Rain and strong high-altitude jet streams delayed launch for a couple days. Finally on the last day of the window, 31 January 1958, and 84 days after the go-ahead from Washington, the Juno 1 lifted off eastward from Cape Canaveral. The first stage burned out on the 150th second. After 240 s of coasting, the upper stages were fired by the command sent from the ground control center. The satellite was supposed to reach the orbit in 7 min after the liftoff. The ground-tracking station at Antigua reported clear reception of the signals from both Explorer transmitters. Quick estimates showed that the satellite reached the orbit with a 106-min period.

More than 1 h of anxious waiting followed for a confirmation from a receiving station in California. The satellite did not appear, however, at the predicted moment of time. Then 8 min later, the tracking station in California reported receiving signals from a spacecraft approaching from the west. It turned out that its orbit had a 114.7-min period. Wernher von Braun later described that "those 8 minutes difference, during which we waited in vain for the signals to be picked up by our receiver station in California ... were the longest 8 minutes of my life!" (von Braun 1959, 140). The first American artificial satellite of the Earth was in orbit.

first artificial satellites Sputnik, Explorer, and Vanguard

Fig. 15.30 (from: M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004). Comparative sizes and masses of the first three Earth satellites, Sputnik 1, Explorer I, and Vanguard I. Figure courtesy of Mike Gruntman.

The achieved Explorer I orbit had perigee 360 km (224 miles), apogee 2551 km (1585 miles), orbital period 114.7 min, and 33.3-deg inclination. The payload (without the fourth-stage motor) had mass 18.13 lb (8.22 kg). The satellite was 6 in. in diameter and 36 in. long between the nose cone and the motor. The nickel-cadmium batteries powered the transmitters and the payload. The high-power 60-mW) transmitter functioned, as expected, for two weeks until 12 February. Five days later it unexpectedly resumed operation and provided useful signals for several more days. The low-power transmitter operated continuously until mid-April, with the acceptable signal-to-noise ratio until the end of March. Explorer I would stay in orbit for 12 years and reenter the atmosphere in 1970.

The news of the successful launch of the first American satellite started celebrations on the streets of Huntsville: happy people drove to the Army base and danced on the streets. President Eisenhower announced America's first satellite to the nation by issuing a statement on 1 February 1958 that "the United States has successfully placed a scientific earth satellite in orbit around the earth. The satellite was orbited by a modified Jupiter C rocket." (Medaris bitterly noted later that "neither then — nor later — was there any reference to the Army, to ABMA, or to any of us [on the Army team] as individuals" in the president's announcement (Medaris 1960, 225). President and Mrs. Eisenhower gave a formal "white-tie" dinner on 4 February 1958 on the occasion of the satellite launch. In addition to the top military brass and top scientific officials, the dinner was attended by von Braun, Pickering, Van Allen, and Hagen. ABMA's Medaris was not invited.) In Washington, jubilant Wernher von Braun, William Pickering, and James Van Allen displayed the model of the satellite to the gathered journalists at the National Academy of Sciences, the moment recorded in the memorable photograph (Fig. 15.26). It was a long way for the American satellite, and finally it was in orbit and the main participants were proud of their achievement. ..........................

Blazing the Trail by Mike GruntmanBook preview  

Chapter 15.  The Breakthrough – List of figures (significantly abridged captions)

Fig. 15.1. Air Force Colonel Mikhail K. Tikhonravov, ca. 1951.
Fig. 15.2. The first ICBM R-7 at the Tyuratam missile test range in May–June 1957.
Fig. 15.3. Sergei P. Korolev was the main driving force behind the first ICBM, first artificial satellite, first manned spaceflight, and many other first Soviet satellite systems.
Fig. 15.4. The R-7 ICBM being readied for launch at Tyuratam in May–June 1957.
Fig. 15.5. First artificial satellite Sputnik 1.
Fig. 15.6. Chief designers of space systems on 4 October 1957, in Tyuratam, after the launch of the first artificial satellite of the Earth, Sputnik.
Fig.15.7. The Energia–Buran vehicle combination engraved on the tombstone of Valentin P. Glushko.
Fig. 15.8. Monuments to Sergei P. Korolev and Mstislav V. Keldysh in Moscow.
Fig. 15.9. Comparative sizes of R-7, Atlas, Juno-1 (a variant of the Jupiter C) , and Vanguard.
Fig. 15.10.  Vostok rocket that launched the first man into space.
Fig.15.11. First cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin in Tyuratam on 12 June 1963.
Fig. 15.12. Redstone and Jupiter C missiles.
Fig.  15.13. Donald A. Quarles, 1894–1959, being sworn in as Secretary of the Air Force on 15 August 1955.
Fig. 15.14. Director of Project Vanguard Dr. John P. Hagen with the staff members of Project Vanguard.
Fig. 15.15. Project engineer Donald J. Markarian and operations manager N. Elliot Felt, Jr..
Fig. 15.16.  Launch sequence of the three-stage Vanguard rocket.
Fig. 15.17.  Minitrack station near Quito, Ecuador.
Fig. 15.18.  Baby satellite (Vanguard I).
Fig. 15.19. Juno 1, a modified Jupiter C rocket with an elongated Redstone as the first stage ready for launch of the first U.S. satellite Explorer I on 31 January 1958.
Fig. 15.20. Second and third stages of Jupiter C.
Fig. 15.21.  An attempt to launch the Vanguard test vehicle TV-3 ends in failure on 6 December 1957 at Cape Canaveral.
Fig. 15.22. Members of the Army team with a model of Explorer I.
Fig. 15.23. Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory William H. Pickering (1910–2004) holds a prototype of the Army satellite Explorer I, December 1957.
Fig. 15.24. Explorer I satellite with the fourth-stage scaled-down Sergeant rocket, January 1958.
Fig. 15.25.  Juno 1 on a launching pad on 31 January 1958.
Fig. 15.26. A model of Explorer I displayed by jubilant William H. Pickering (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), James A. Van Allen  (State University of Iowa), and Wernher von Braun (Army Ballistic Missile Agency).
Fig. 15.27. Simple model of Explorer I.
Fig. 15.28. This perfect launch from Cape Canaveral on 17 March 1958 deployed the Vanguard I satellite in orbit and demonstrated the new space launch vehicle.
Fig. 15.29. NRL personnel on the top of the gantry crane with the Vanguard I satellite at Cape Canaveral in early 1958.
Fig. 15.30. Comparative sizes and masses of the first three Earth satellites, Sputnik 1, Explorer I, and Vanguard I.
Fig. 15.31. Timeline of major developments on the road to the ICBM and first satellites.
Fig. 15.32. T. Keith Glennan, 1905–1995, became the first NASA administrator in 1958. 
Fig. 15.33. A 100-ft (30.5-m)-diam passive communication satellite Echo I during the inflation test in 1959.
Fig. 15.34. The original seven Mercury astronauts were selected in 1959.
Fig. 15.35. Alan B. Shepard in the Freedom-7 Mercury spacecraft before launch on 5 May 1961.
Fig. 15.36. President John F. Kennedy with Wernher von Braun, 19 May 1963.

Chapter 15 contents:

Origins of Soviet ICBM. Mikhail Tikhonravov. Rocket packet. R-7 ICBM. Engines of Valentin Glushko. Vassilii Mishin and rocket suspension. Sergei Korolev. R-7 and Atlas. Difficult launches. Disintegrated warhead. Grigorii Kisunko. R-7 (SS-6) deployed. Artificial satellite. International Geophysical Year (IGY). Object D. “We are asking for permission …” Simplest satellite PS. Launch on 4 October 1957. Sputnik in orbit. Korolev under his real name. Two new stars. Chief designers of space systems. Unexpected Sputnik's radio frequencies. Crowning achievement. Rivalry in rocket and space establishment. Glushko's Energia-Buran. Veil of secrecy. Chief Designer Sergei Korolev and Chief Theoretician Mstislav Keldysh. Beginning of the R-7 Semyorka. Loadstar speaking for socialism. American reaction to Sputnik. Poor state of science education. Space Pearl Harbor. Soviet and American education and science. Chose to remain uninformed. Sputnik impact underestimated. Lack of priority. Chosen to be beaten. Object D launched. American rockets close the gap. Manned spaceflight. Soviet Vostok program. First man in space - Yurii Gagarin. Tireless care of Communist Party. Explorer and Vanguard. IGY. Project Orbiter. NRL proposal. Killian Report. President’s announcement and Soviet response. Stewart Committee. Selection of Vanguard and termination of Orbiter. NRL and Martin teams. New launch vehicle. Power plant. Comprehensive program. Minitrack. Worldwide network. Predecessor of STDN. Optical tracking system. Precise time. Computers for satellite tracking. Scientific instruments. Success of TV-0 and TV-1. Baby satellite. Solar cells. Attention focuses on Vanguard. Jupiter C. Hydyne. 20 September 1956. “Missed the boat in 1956.” TV-3 explodes. Army leaders at Redstone. Medaris charges ahead. Microlock. Discovery of radiation belts. Micrometeorite sensors. Passive thermal control. Spacecraft spin. Explorer 1 in orbit. Evolution of Explorer 1 spin axis. Dancing in the streets of Huntsville. Vanguard 1 in orbit. The oldest man-made object in orbit. Birth of NASA. Freedom of space accepted. National space effort. Presidential science advisor. National debate. Scientific-technological elite. National Aeronautics and Space Act. T. Keith Glennan. NACA centers. Transfer o f JPL. Marshall Space Flight Center. Beltsville Space Center. Science and applications. Communication satellites. Echo satellites. Manned Spacecraft Center. Seven Mercury astronauts. Space report card for 1960. Kennedy challenges the nation. “I believe we should go to the Moon.”



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