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The United States' first satellite, Explorer 1, is launched into orbit by a Jupiter C rocket at 10:48 p.m. EST, on Jan. 31, 1958. Explorer 1 confirmed existence of high-radiation bands above the Earth's atmosphere. (Courtesy photo by NASA)
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Technicians and engineers monitor the countdown for the liftoff of Explorer 1 in the control room of the blockhouse at Space Launch Complex 26 at the Cape Canaveral Missile Annex (now Cape Canaveral Air Force Station). (Courtesy photo by NASA)
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