Skip to main content

Explorer I Collection

Identifier: MC-41


  • 1955 - 2008

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.


2.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes + 2 oversize boxes.)

Biographical / Historical

Explorer I, an "American earth magnetosphere satellite," was the first in the Explorer series of satellites (Wade). Explorer I "carried instrumentation for the study of cosmic rays, micrometeorites, and for monitoring of the satellite's temperature" (Williams).

Explorer I was first launched in early 1958, carried into orbit by a Jupiter-C rocket developed by the von Braun rocket team, and the satellite detected the "durably trapped radiation in the Earth's magnetosphere, dubbed the Van Allen Radiation Belt" (Wade, Williams).


Wade, Mark. "Explorer A." Encyclopedia Astronautica,

Williams, David R. "Explorer 1." NASA, 2020. Space Science Data Coordinated Archive,

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired 2008.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
Megan Sullivan
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America