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Explorer 8


Explorer 8

Explorer 8
Mission type Earth science
Operator NASA
Harvard designation 1960 Xi 1
Mission duration 54 days
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Launch mass 40.88 kilograms (90.1 lb)
Power 100.0 watts
Start of mission
Launch date November 3, 1960, 05:23:10 (1960-11-03T05:23:10Z) UTC
Rocket Juno II
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-26B
End of mission
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Decay date March 28, 2012
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Medium Earth
Semi-major axis 7,722.00 kilometers (4,798.23 mi)
Eccentricity 0.12108247
Perigee 416 kilometers (258 mi)
Apogee 2,286 kilometers (1,420 mi)
Inclination 49.9 degrees
Period 112.7 minutes
Epoch 5 December 1960[1]

Explorer 8 was a U.S. research satellite launched on November 3, 1960. It confirmed the existence of a helium layer in the upper atmosphere.[2] Explorer 8 decayed from orbit on 28 March 2012.

A replica is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.[3]


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Explorers: Searching the Universe Forty Years Later". NASA Fact Sheets.  
  3. ^ Explorer 8 satellite
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