Project Vanguard Nasa Page 2 Pics About Space
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The original schedule called for the TV3 to be launched during the month of September 1957, but because of delays this did not happen. On October 4, 1957, the Vanguard team learned of the launch of Sputnik 1 by the USSR while still working on a test vehicle (TV-2) designed to test the first stage of their launcher rocket. While demoralizing to the Vanguard team, Minitrack was successful in tracking Sputnik, a major success for NRL. At 11:44:35 a. m. on December 6, an attempt was made to launch TV-3. The Vanguard rocket rose about four feet (1. 2 m) into the air when the engine lost thrust, and the rocket immediately sank back down to the launch pad and exploded. The payload nosecone detached and landed free of the exploding rocket, the small satellite's radio beacon still beeping. The satellite was too damaged for further use; it now resides in the National Air and Space Museum. The failure was widely and creatively derided in the press, being called a "kaputnik" in the Daily Express, a "flopnik" in the Daily Herald, a "puffnik" in the Daily Mail and a "stayputnik" in the News Chronicle.