Site icon Satellite News Network

On This Day In Space: March 17, 1958: US launches its second satellite, Vanguard 1

On St. Patrick’s Day in 1958, the U.S. Navy launched Vanguard 1, the first solar-powered satellite and the oldest artificial satellite currently orbiting Earth. The main purpose of this mission was to test a new three-stage rocket. 

Vanguard 1 was the fourth satellite ever launched into space (following Sputniks 1 and 2 and Explorer 1). It looks a lot like a miniature version of Sputnik. Vanguard 1 was tiny compared to the satellites that came before it. It’s about the size of a grapefruit and weighs only 3 lbs.  

Solar technology allowed the satellite to transmit signals to Earth for seven years, while battery-powered satellites couldn’t even last a month. Scientists think the satellite will deorbit by the year 2198 after spending 240 years in space

On This Day in Space Archive!  

Still not enough space? Don’t forget to check out our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week.

Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

Exit mobile version