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Pioneer I on the Launch Pad
Pioneer I on the Launch Pad (click to enlarge)

Pioneer I on the Launch Pad
Date: 11 Oct 1958

This image shows Thor-Able I with the Pioneer I spacecraft atop, prior to launch at the Eastern Test Range (now Kennedy Space Center).

Pioneer I launched on 11 October 1958, and is the first spacecraft launched by the 11 day old National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Although Pioneer 1 failed to reach the moon, it was successful in transmitting 43 hours of data.

Credit: NASA

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Last Updated: 22 Apr 2013