Science: All-Seeing Satellite

Just two hours after Ham the chimp began his pioneering trip through space, another U.S. missile, bearing an earth satellite, was launched from Point Arguello Naval Missile Facility, 170 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It was an Air Force Samos (from Satellite and Missile Observation System), and it went into an almost perfectly circular polar orbit 300-350 miles above the earth.

Other facts and figures were known: the launcher was an Atlas, and the second stage was an Agena, which spun into orbit, weighed some 4,000 Ibs., including 2,000 Ibs. of instruments and equipment. But the most significant thing about last week's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!