50 Years Later First U.S. Satellite’s Souvenirs Still Circle

Fifty years ago today, the 70-foot (21-meter) tall Juno 1 rocket, a modified Redstone missile, launched the Explorer I satellite, marking the first U.S. built payload to enter Earth orbit. Three of the booster’s four stages fell into the ocean while the fourth, which was used to boost Explorer I’s velocity, entered orbit behind the satellite.

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