Explorer-1 - 50th Anniversary On January 31, 1958, The United States Army launched the first American satellite, Explorer-1. A four-stage Jupiter C rocket propelled the satellite into orbit. Orbiting the earth once every 115 minutes, the high power transmitter on Explorer-1 broadcast for 31 days. Explorer-1 orbited until March 31, 1970.
Sputniks 1 & 2 On October 4, 1957, the “space age” began. That is the day the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite named Sputnik.
On November 3, 1957, Sputnik-2 was launched with Laika the dog aboard. Laika became the first animal to orbit the Earth.
Project Vanguard On March 17, 1958, the Navy Vanguard rocket successfully orbited the second American satellite. Although it has long been silent, Vanguard 1 continues to orbit the Earth, making it the oldest manmade object in space. Estimates are that it will remain in orbit for 2,000 years!