NW071 1/144 Vanguard
Designed to launch America's first satellite during the
International Geophysical Year, the Vanguard launch vehicle was
based on Viking sounding rocket. The second stage was powered by
a variant of Aerojet General's Aerobee Hi. The third stage was a
small solid propellant motor. The Vanguard configuration was
selected over the Jupiter C and Atlas vehicles because a missile
was deemed inappropriate for an entry in an international
By december 6, 1957, the first complete three stage Vanguard rocket was ready to fly. At 11:44 AM, Vanguard rocket TV-3 crept off the pad at Cape Canaveral. Within seconds, the rocket fell back to its pad and exploded.
On March 17, 1958, Vanguard's luck would change. At 7: 15 AM, Vanguard rocket TV-4 launched a third grapefruit satellite from the cape. An hour and half later, Vanguard passed over the USA again, in a 404 x 2466 mile orbit.
Out of 11 attemps, Vanguard orbited 3 satellites.