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Re: Funny old satellite design



> Message: 3
> Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 01:04:40 +0200
> From: "William Leijenaar" <pe1rah@hotmail.com>
> Subject: [amsat-bb] Funny old satellite design
>
> Hi AMSATs,
>
> Look at the following link, interesting old satellite design:
>
> http://www.nord-com.net/accot.schulz/Sats/vang_Early/Early_Vanguard.html
>
> Looks like ham radio design .o)
>
> 73 de PE1RAH, William

William -

Actually this satellite design has a fairly well known heritage.
As you pointed out, it appeared in the January 1956 issue of 'Popular 
Science Monthly' magazine.

At least 3 of these models were built by PSM, after consultation with 
scientists from the National Committee for the International Geophysical 
Year (IGY).
One model was later displayed in their Washington, DC offices.  You will 
notice the magnetometer prominent in the upper half of the sphere (Van 
Allen's instrument) - which would become the first US scientific instrument 
in space/orbit.

The US entry into satellites an space started on April 5, 1950 at James Van 
Allen's house, then in Silver Springs, MD
Historically this gathering has since been referred to as the "Silver 
Springs" group.

At this gathering (actually dinner as Van Allen has recalled for me) the 
guest of honor Sydney Chapman (noted British geophysicist), S. Fred Singer 
(University of Maryland), J. Walter Joyce (Naval geophysicist & State 
department advisor), Lloyd V. Berkner (head of Brookhaven National Labs) and 
Ernest H. Vestine (Carnegie Institute) began discussions that led to the 
International Geophysical Year (1957-58) - the US satellite entry for the 
IGY was the "Explorer" satellite (the satellite actually had the JPL working 
name of "Deal" -- until it reached orbit).

Many early US satellites, components or instruments were constructed at 
CalTech's Jet Propulsion Laboratories (Pasadena, CA) by Wm. Pickering's 
group and in the basement of The University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA) physics 
building (Van Allen).

Chapter 8 of Paul Dickson's book Sputnik, The Shock of the Century (2001) 
gives an intersting insight into the "American Birds"
Greg
w9gb 


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