Vanguard - Space launch mission detailed information
14 APR 1959
Launch Complex 18A
The Vanguard satellite was a 13 inch spherical satellite which contained a precise magnetometer to map the Earth's magnetic field. The satellite was lost together with the Vanguard Balloon when the Vanguard launch vehicle second stage was damaged during staging.
The Vanguard rocket was intended to be the first launch vehicle the United States would use to place a satellite into orbit. Instead, the Sputnik crisis caused by the surprise launch of Sputnik 1 led the U.S., after the failure of Vanguard TV3, to quickly orbit the Explorer 1 satellite using a Juno I rocket, making Vanguard I the second successful U.S. orbital launch.