Description

    The oldest man-made satellite still in orbit.

    Vanguard 1 Original Full-Size Model with Custom Case and Related Model and Book. Vanguard 1 Original Full-Size Model with Custom Case and Related Model and Book. An amazing, rare, and desirable model, likely only a handful of these were ever made. An actual-size 6.5" diameter spherical aluminum satellite with six solar cells spread along the surface and six 12" antennas protruding. It sits atop a 12" stand on a 7" x 7" x 2" metal base. There is a power cord attached to the base; it is quite frayed but we did test it. When the switch is on, the satellite spins on its axis. The metal plate on the base reads: "Lecture Aid No. 209/ Serial No. 2/ Bell Telephone/ Laboratories". Inside the satellite body is some circuitry and a battery holder; this internal circuitry was apparently designed to react when bright light is shone on the model (sun-shaped spotlight included), but was not tested. Vanguard 1 was launched on March 17, 1958, the fourth artificial Earth satellite and the first to be solar powered. The National Space Science Data Center website relates the following information: "Vanguard 1 was a small earth-orbiting satellite designed to test the launch capabilities of a three-stage launch vehicle and the effects of the environment on a satellite and its systems in Earth orbit. It also was used to obtain geodetic measurements through orbit analysis. The spacecraft was a 1.47-kg aluminum sphere 16.5 cm in diameter. It contained a 10-mW, 108-MHz mercury-battery powered transmitter and a 5-mW, 108.03-MHz transmitter powered by six square (roughly 5 cm on a side) solar cells mounted on the body of the satellite. Six 30 cm aerials protruded from the sphere. The transmitters were used primarily for engineering and tracking data. The three stage launch vehicle placed Vanguard into a 654 x 3969 km 134.2 minute orbit inclined at 34.25 degrees. The battery powered transmitter stopped operating in June 1958 when the batteries ran down. The solar powered transmitter operated until May 1964, after which the spacecraft was optically tracked from Earth." The original 21" x 9.5" x 12" custom carrying case is included, bearing two "New York Space Program" Dymo labels, and containing a spotlight in the shape of, and made to represent, the sun. If the interest this item created among the jaded "We've seen it all" employees and visitors to our offices is any indication, bidding will be fierce for this historic item. Fine condition.
    Included with this lot is a vintage Hawk Plastic Models "Project Vanguard Satellite" model kit in original box. It appears to be intact and complete with decals, parts, and instructions. Also, a book, Exploring by Satellite: The Story of Project Vanguard (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1957) by Franklyn M. Branley. Both very good or better.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    3rd Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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