- This article is about the spacecraft. For the TV series, see Pioneer One. For the land speed racer, see Pioneer 1 (land speed racer).
|Launch vehicle.||Thor DM-18 Able I.|
|Launch date.||October 11, 1958, 08:42:13 UTC.|
|Launch site.||Cape Canaveral LC-17A.|
|Ceased operations.||Failed to orbit. October 13, 1958, 03:46 UTC.|
|Major contractor(s).||Ramo-Wooldridge Corp. (TRW).|
|Is it still in orbit.||Never orbited.|
|Launch mass.||38.28 kilograms (84.39 lb).|
|Satellite type.||Lunar orbiter.|
|Links.||http://www.sdfo.org/stl/Pioneer%20Part%20II.pdf, https://www.amazon.com/pioneer-1/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apioneer%201, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_1, https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT6OqnQxZwMoANI5XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=Pioneer+1&fr=yset_chr_cnewtab, https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/missions/archive/pioneer.html, http://www.sdfo.org/stl/ and https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1958-007A.|
Their was a fatal programming error in the upper stage causing a slight error in burnout velocity and angle (3.5 deg.). This resulted in a ballistic trajectory with a peak altitude of 113,800 km (70,712 mi) around 13:00 local time. The second stage to be lofted 3° higher than planned, so, it shut off 10 seconds earlier than planned and also bumped the third stage during separation, which was was left pitched up about 15° and with an notable a velocity shortfall of about ~500 feet per second. The firing of the vernier engines on the third stage were only added only 150 feet per second of velocity which was no enough to reach escape velocity. The satellite was then subject to heavy orbital temperature fluxes and froze up and failed in a near zero temperature phase.
Non the less NASA got some useful scientific on the atmospheric radiation surrounding Earth was in the form of bands and measuring the extent of the bands, mapping the total ionizing flux, making the first observations of hydromagnetic oscillations of the magnetic field, ionizing radiation and taking the first measurements of the density of micrometeorites and the Interplanetary Magnetic Field.