Project Orbiter was a proposed United States spacecraft, an early competitor to Project Vanguard. It was jointly run by the United States Army and United States Navy. It was ultimately rejected by the Ad Hoc Committee on Special Capabilities, which selected Project Vanguard instead. Although the project was canceled on August 3, 1955, the basic design was used for the Juno I rocket which launched Explorer 1, the first satellite launched by the United States.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the German Society for Space Travel (Verein für Raumschiffahrt, referred to as VfR by its founders) began to gain in popularity, with membership growing from outside of Germany as well as within. The primary cause for the VfR's gaining world wide appeal was due to the writings of mathematician Hermann Oberth who detailed, in a 1923 publication entitled The Rocket into Interplanetary Space, the mechanics of placing a satellite into Earth orbit.
Herman Potočnik was the first to publish the concept of placing a geosynchronous satellite in geostationary orbit, in 1928. Arthur C. Clarke popularized this concept even further in 1945, in a paper entitled "Extra-Terrestrial Relays — Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?", published in Wireless World magazine. Clarke described the concept as useful for communications satellites.
Wernher von Braun proposed the idea of placing a satellite into orbit in 1954, at a meeting of Spaceflight committee of the American Rocket Society. His plan was to use a Redstone rocket with clusters of small solid-fuel rockets on top.
- Loyd S. Swenson Jr., James M. Grimwood, Charles C. Alexander (1989). "Part I, Chapter I, Section entitled: "The Highway to Space"". This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, pp. 13-18. NASA. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- Noordung, Hermann; et al. (1995) . The Problem With Space Travel. Translation from original German. DIANE Publishing. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7881-1849-4.
- "Extra-Terrestrial Relays — Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?". Arthur C. Clark. October 1945. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- Bate, Roger R.; Mueller, Donald D.; White, Jerry E. (June 1, 1971). Fundamentals of Astrodynamics. Dover Publications. p. 152. ISBN 0-486-60061-0.
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