Vanguard III - Space launch mission detailed information
18 SEP 1959
Launch Complex 18A
Vanguard 3 is a scientific satellite to measure the Earth's magnetic field, solar X-ray radiation and its effects on the Earth's atmosphere and the near-Earth micrometeoroid environment.
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.