Right click to download:
The US effort, the Vanguard project, has its roots in the sounding rockets developed by Naval Research Laboratory. The Vanguard first stage was based on the Martin Viking and the second stage was based on the Aerobee sounding rocket. A solid third stage was added.
There were two main reasons for choosing the Vanguard to launch the first US satellite. First, it was based on scientific rockets which were not converted from a military missile system - and therefore more politically correct than using the Redstone, as suggested by Werner Von Braun. Second, the satellite program was not to interfere with the development of military missile programs.
The USSR used their powerful R-7 ballistic missile to launch the worlds first satellite, the Sputnik, on October 4, 1957.
The first complete Vanguard rocket - TV-3 test vehicle - was rushed into service to carry a satellite and launched on December 6, 1957. Less than one second after liftoff, the first-stage engine lost thrust because of an improper engine start. The vehicle settled back on the launching stand and exploded. This failure was a national embarrassment for USA. The payload nosecone detached in the process and landed free of the exploding rocket. The satellite was too damaged for further use; it now resides in the National Air and Space Museum.
Instead, Von Braun's Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), launched the Explorer 1 on February 1st, 1958, using the Jupiter C launcher, the Juno I.
Finally, on February 3, 1958, the Vanguard SLV-4 successfully placed the Vanguard I satellite into an elliptical Earth orbit. Of the three Vanguard-launched satellites. Vanguard I - silent since May 1964 - remains in space today as the oldest man-made satellite.
At this page following vanguards are available as kits:
Thanks to Mark Lardas - the TV-4 is also available with frosted LOX-tanks. (Released October 26, 2008)
Thanks to Mark Brethen for creating a version of the stand with wooden texture (Released May 9, 2011)
If you have comments for these kits contact:
Joy Cohn - email@example.com
Niels Jahn Knudsen - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vanguard satellite launching vehicle. Enginering Report. April 1960