Catching Up To Soviets: Explorer 1 Launched U.S. Into Space Age

Credit: NASA
The facts surrounding the launch of Explorer 1 are well-known: The Soviets had beaten the U.S. into space with not just one but two satellites, the latter of which carried a dog named Laika. Sputnik 1, launched on Oct. 4, 1957, weighed 184 lb. (84 kg); Sputnik 2, launched just 30 days later, weighed...

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