Encyclopedia Astronautica
Vanguard 1



van1nasm.jpg
Vanguard 1
Credit: NASM
American technology satellite. 4 launches, 1957.12.06 (Vanguard 1A) to 1958.04.29 (Vanguard 2A). An engineering test satellite. Based on orbital position data derived from its transmissions, the shape of the earth was refined.

Gross mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb).
First Launch: 1957.12.06.
Last Launch: 1958.04.29.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Vanguard Vanguard was the 'civilian' vehicle developed by the US Navy to launch America's first satellite as part of the International Geophysical Year. The Army / von Braun Jupiter-C instead launched the first US satellite after Sputnik and Vanguard's public launch failure. The second stage design led to the Able upper stage for Thor/Atlas, and then to the Delta upper stage still in use in the 21st Century. The original version of Vanguard used a Grand Central final stage. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Vanguard American orbital launch vehicle. Vanguard was the 'civilian' vehicle developed by the US Navy to launch America's first satellite as part of the International Geophysical Year. The Army / von Braun Jupiter-C instead launched the first US satellite after Sputnik and Vanguard's public launch failure. The second stage design led to the Able upper stage for Thor/Atlas, and then to the Delta upper stage still in use in the 21st Century. The original version of Vanguard used a Grand Central final stage. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Vanguard Relatively unsuccessful program to launch the United States first artifical satellite of the earth. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space 1915-1960, NASA, 1961. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautical and Astronautical Events of 1961 Report of NASA to the Committee on Science and Astronautics US House of Representatives 87th Cong 2d Sess, NASA, 1962. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Ordway, Frank, and Sharpe, Mitchell, The Rocket Team, Collector's Guide Publishing, Ontario, Canada, 2000.
  • Bramscher, Robert G, "A Survey of Launch Vehicle Failures", Spaceflight, 1980, Volume 22, page 351.
  • NASA Report, The Vanguard Satellite Launching Vehicle: An Engineering Summary, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Vanguard I Satellite Structure and Separation Mechanism, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Project Vanguard Magnetic-Field Instrumentation and Measurements, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Vanguard Satellite Separation Mechanisms, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Balancing Vanguard Satellites, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC18A Viking, Vanguard, Scout launch complex. The LC18 complex included two launch pads 18A and 18B. Pad 18A was used to launch 14 Vanguard space vehicles for NASA and the U.S. Navy between 8 December 1956 and 19 September 1959. Following termination of the Vanguard program, Pad 18A supported ten Blue Scout Junior launches for the Air Force between 21 September 1960 and 10 June 1965. Complex 18 was deactivated on 1 February 1967. More...

Vanguard 1 Chronology


1955 August 1 - . LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard.
  • Vanguard selected to launch first US satellite. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Summary: Ad Hoc Committee on Special Capabilities rejects Army/Von Brauns's Project Orbiter (Redstone) and USAF Atlas proposals; selects Navy/Vanguard for first US satellite..

1955 October 7 - . LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard.
  • Vanguard contract awarded. - . Nation: USA. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Summary: Prime contract for Project Vanguard awarded the Martin Co..

1957 May 1 - . LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard.
  • Vanguard suborbital test. - . Nation: USA. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Summary: Vanguard Test Vehicle (TV-1), a modified Martin Viking first-stage and Vanguard solid-propellant third-stage Grand Central Rocket as second-stage, launched with instrumented nose cone to an altitude of 121 miles and met all test objectives..

1957 October 1 - . LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard.
  • Vanguard tracking system operational. - . Nation: USA. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Summary: Project Vanguard world-wide tracking system (minitrack) became operational..

1957 October 9 - . LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard.
  • Vanguard supported by Eisenhower. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. President Eisenhower in a White House press release congratulated the Soviet scientists on SPUTNIK I. He gave a brief history of the development of the U.S.-IGY satellite program and pointed to the separation of Project Vanguard from work on ballistic missiles.

1957 December 6 - . 16:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-3. FAILURE: Vehicle lost thrust and exploded after 2 seconds.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Vanguard 1A - . Payload: Vanguard Test Satellite. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1957-12-06 . COSPAR: F571206A. Summary: First US orbital attempt. IGY Vanguard (TV-3), the first with three live stages, failed to launch a test satellite..

1958 February 5 - . 07:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-3BU. FAILURE: Control system malfunction - control lost after 57 sec.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Vanguard 1B - . Payload: Vanguard Test Satellite. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1958-02-05 . COSPAR: F580205A. Apogee: 6.00 km (3.70 mi). Summary: Trial firing of IGY Vanguard (TV-3Bu) satellite..

1958 March 17 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-4.
  • Vanguard 1 - . Payload: Vanguard 1C / Vanguard Test Satellite. Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. USAF Sat Cat: 5 . COSPAR: 1958-Beta-2. Apogee: 3,868 km (2,403 mi). Perigee: 654 km (406 mi). Inclination: 34.2000 deg. Period: 133.20 min. Summary: Transmitted pear-shaped earth data. Life expectancy of perhaps a 1,000 years. The satellite had a mass of 1.6 kg and a diameter of 175 cm..

1958 April 29 - . 02:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-5. FAILURE: Third Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Vanguard 2A - . Payload: X-ray-environmental satellite. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1958-04-28 . COSPAR: F580429A. Apogee: 550 km (340 mi).

1960 March 17 - . LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard.
  • Vanguard second anniversary. - . Nation: USA. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Summary: VANGUARD I still in orbit and transmitting on its second anniversary after traveling 131,318,211 miles. NASA reported that VANGUARD I orbit was being altered by solar pressure..

1961 March 17 - . LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard.
  • Vanguard third anniversary. - . Nation: USA. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Vanguard I completed third year in orbit and was still transmitting. Vanguard I provided much useful data on orbits, including the slight pear-shape of the Earth and the effect of solar pressure. Vanguard also provided the second stage for the Able, Delta, and Able-Star, as well as the third stage of Scout, pioneering solid-propellant stages used in Polaris and Minuteman.

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