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Vanguard 2.
Category. Statistic.
Launch vehicle. Vanguard rocket.
Launch date. 17 February 1959, 15:55 UTC.
Launch site. Cape Canaveral LC-18A.
Ceased operations. March 8, 1969.
Owner(s). Department of the Navy.
Major contractor(s)  Naval Research Laboratory.
Is it still in orbit. Yes and it has an expected orbital lifetime of 300 years, so it will not burn up until at least 2259.
Launch mass. 10.8 kilograms (24 lb).
Nationality(s). American.
Satellite type. Weather satellite and an air density experiment..
Links. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_2.
Vanguard2

A mock-up of Vanguard 2.

1959 Vanguard 2 (NASA)01:26

1959 Vanguard 2 (NASA)

1959: Vanguard 2 (NASA).

TIROS-1 was the World's first ever weather satellite and was sent up in the hope it may help hurricane detection work back on earth. Vanguard 2 did take several pictures of clouds earlier. The optical scanner experiment was designed to obtain cloud-cover data between the equator and 35° to 45° N latitude.

It is to be noted that modern services like Google Maps, hurricane tracking services and satellite TV all owe a debt to these early satellites.

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