See more objects with the color darkslategrey lightgrey darkgrey dimgrey or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.



  • Work on this object began.



  • You found it!

Satellite, Explorer 1 (Replica)

This is a Satellite. It was manufactured by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated 1958, Original launch date February 1958. Its medium is metal shell.

Explorer 1 was the first successful US Earth-orbiting satellite. As with many tools of exploration, the satellite’s design was determined by its history and use. After successful launches from the Soviet Union and a failed American attempt, Explorer 1 was rapidly developed to achieve orbit. It was mounted externally on top of a modified sounding rocket, an arrangement that required the satellite to incorporate its own rocket booster—it took up the back half—to achieve final orbit. The launch method also called for a conical nose, to minimize drag during ascent through the atmosphere. Explorer 1’s front half contained detectors for cosmic rays and micrometeorites, electronics, batteries, and communication equipment. Four radio antennas extended from the middle of the satellite.

It is credited Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Transferred from the US Army Ordnance Museum, A19890568000.

  • Satellite, Ariel 2 (Replica)
  • epoxy-bonded fiberglass, aluminum, other light metals, plastics.
  • Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Transferred from NASA, A19751411000.
  • 16.2012.27

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

  • Solar Wall
  • H x W: 182.9 x 210.8 cm (6 ft. x 6 ft. 11 in.).
  • Courtesy of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
  • 27.2012.1

Its dimensions are

L x diam (excluding antennas): 174 × 15.2 cm (68 1/2 in. × 6 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Satellite, Explorer 1 (Replica) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 January 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>