artist concept showing model of Explorer 1 held high after announcing news of its success

On Jan. 31, 1958, the JPL-designed and -built Explorer 1 soared into space. The spacecraft, a quick response to the Soviet's Sputnik, lofted the United States into the Space Age.

JPL's Explorer 1 site features archival video footage, an interactive peek inside the satellite and a downloadable, in-depth book about the era and the mission.

The site is online at .

The site's events page includes viewing details about a new JPL-produced Explorer 1 documentary, which debuts on Discovery HD Theater on Jan. 31. Reruns on Discovery HD and show times on KCET/Los Angeles can also be found on that page.