×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 1543
Sunday, 06 January 2008 21:57

Fifty years ago U.S. begins to explore space: Explorer-1

By
The month of January 1958 was very busy for the pioneers that began space exploration for the United States. Satellite 1958 Alpha (commonly called Explorer-1) lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in Florida, on January 31, 1958--the beginning of the Space Age for the United States.       


Explorer-1 was the first U.S. satellite that went into space, and the third in the world, behind the Soviet Union’s historic Sputnik 1 and, later, Sputnik 2. It was the second satellite to carry a payload—Sputnik 2 was the first one.

Explorer-1 was launched from a Juno I rocket. It was designed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology.

In charge of the Explorer-1 program was Dr. William H. Pickering. In charge of the design and construction of the scientific instrumentation aboard the satellite was Dr. James Van Allen of the University of Iowa.

The Juno I was a rocket from the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) that was modified to carry a payload. The payload was a cosmic ray instrumentation satellite designed by Dr. George H. Ludwig, of the Cosmic Ray Laboratory at the University of Iowa.

Explorer-1 was inserted into a 224 by 1,575 mile (360 by 2,520 kilometer) orbit. It made one orbit every 114.8 minutes, for a total of 12.54 orbits per day. The satellite was 80 inches (203 centimeters) long and 6.25 inches (15.9 centimeters) in diameter. Its payload was basically a Geiger counter that detected cosmic rays, along with temperature sensors, micrometeorite impact microphone, and various gauges.

At certain altitudes, researchers noted that the Geiger counter would not sense any cosmic rays. After further satellites were launched to study cosmic rays, it was decided that these minimal readings had overloaded the instrument due to an overabundance of cosmic rays over about 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) above the surface of Earth. It was later discovered that a belt of highly charged particles were trapped by the Earth’s magnetic field at that altitude and above. This belt of radiation is now called the Van Allen Radiation Belt.

The satellite was powered by nickel-cadmium chemical batteries. They provided a high source of power to transmit data back to Earth for about thirty-one days and a low source of power for 105 days. Explorer 1 stopped transmitting data on May 23, 1958 when its batteries were expended.

The orbit of Explorer continued to decay over a period of about twelve years. It eventually re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on March 31, 1970 over the Pacific Ocean—after approximately 58,000 orbits about the Earth.

Further information on Explorer-1 and the Explorer series of satellites is found at:

NASA, Solar System Exploration: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/profile.cfm?MCode=Explorer_01

NASA: 50th Anniversary of the Space Age (1957-2007): https://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/SpaceAge/index.html

Semiconductor Museum: A Transistor Museum Interview with Dr. George Ludwig (The First Transistors in Space—Personal Reflections by the Designer of the Cosmic Ray Instrumentation Package for the Explorer I Satellite): https://semiconductormuseum.com/Transistors/LectureHall/Ludwig/Ludwig_Index.htm.


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.

CLICK HERE!

WEBINAR PROMOTION ON ITWIRE: It's all about webinars

These days our customers Advertising & Marketing campaigns are mainly focussed on webinars.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 2 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://www.itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial.

This coupled with the new capabilities 5G brings opens up huge opportunities for both network operators and enterprise organisations.

We have a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you.

MORE INFO HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments