Earth Launched Something Into Space 56 Years Ago… and It’s Still In Orbit!
An artificial satellite by the name of Vanguard 1 launched into orbit on March 17th, 1958.
Originally, it’s crafter promised that it would be stable in space for centuries, and so far it’s going well!
Above Earth’s atmosphere, you can find Vanguard 1 either 400 miles above or 2,400 miles above us orbiting. According to NBC news, it orbits once every 133 minutes. It has only dropped 60 miles down in the half century it has been orbiting. Pretty reliable, huh?
Because of its ability to orbit for so long and remain steady, you may be wondering what it’s made out of. It’s an aluminum sphere that is about 6.5 inches in diameter and a lightweight 3.2 pounds. It’s last mission ended in 1964.
Less than a year later, another specimen of its kind was released into space called the Vanguard 2. In April of 2012, it was still in orbit. Instead of an aluminum sphere, it was designed as a magnesium sphere and was 20 inches in diameter and internally gold plated.
Pretty nifty, huh? They sure know how to build them!