August 07, 1959 : U.S. satellite photographs earth

Introduction

From the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the U.S. unmanned spacecraft Explorer 6 is launched into an orbit around the earth. The spacecraft, commonly known as the “Paddlewheel” satellite, featured a photocell scanner that transmitted a crude picture of the earth’s surface and cloud cover from a distance of 17,000 miles. The photo, received in Hawaii, took nearly 40 minutes to transmit.

Released by NASA in September, the first photograph ever taken of the earth by a U.S. satellite depicted a crescent shape of part of the planet in sunlight. It was Mexico, captured by Explorer 6 as it raced westward over the earth at speeds in excess of 20,000 miles an hour.

Article Details:

August 07, 1959 : U.S. satellite photographs earth

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2010

  • Title

    August 07, 1959 : U.S. satellite photographs earth

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-satellite-photographs-earth

  • Access Date

    November 21, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks