A model of the Explorer series of spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Explorer 2 was the second satellite of the notable Explorer mission series that launched the United States into the Space Age, however, it did not reach the same success as its predecessor, Explorer 1. On launch day, the fourth stage of the Jupiter-C rocket carrying the satellite failed to ignite, and the mission was scrubbed.
The Explorer series consisted of more than fifty satellites launched over a period of about 15 years. In 1960, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which designed, built and operated the first five satellites of the series, turned the project over to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and turned its attention to planetary exploration with its Mariner, Ranger and Surveyor spacecraft projects.
March 5, 1958: The fourth stage of the Jupiter-C rocket launching Explorer 2 failed to ignite, scrubbing the mission.
- Cosmic-ray detector
- Micrometeorite detector