[FPSPACE] First polar orbiting satellites?

Chris Jones clj at panix.com
Mon Oct 24 15:36:59 EDT 2016

On 10/24/16 3:14 PM, Peter Pesavento wrote:

> What was the first polar-orbiting satellite?  (First US?  First
> Soviet?)

The first US (and first from earth) was Discoverer 2, launched 14 April
1959 (Discoverer 1 failed to orbit).

The Soviets couldn't really launch polar satellites until Plesetsk
opened and started launching satellites.  They had missiles by July
1961, but didn't launch satellites until March 1966.  I don't know which
mission would be considered the first polar satellite (I think anything
launched into a near-polar orbit, say 80-100 degrees inclination, or a
range slightly wider than than, could be considered a polar satellite).

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