Vanguard 1 Launched

March 17, 1958

The American satellite Vanguard 1 is launched. About the size of a grapefruit, Vanguard 1 was the 2nd American satellite launched and 4th man-made object in Earth orbit, following Sputnik 1, Sputnik 2, and Explorer 1. It was the first satellite to have solar power, highest object launched at the time, and currently holds the record for the oldest man-made object still in orbit. Vanguard 1 is expected to stay in orbit until the late 22nd century.