Pioneer P-1

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Pioneer P-1 was a failed mission in the Pioneer program. The spacecraft was a 1 meter diameter sphere, with a propulsion module. It was launched on September 24, 1959 on an Atlas C-Able launcher. It was to carry a TV camera and a magnetic field sensor. It was to be spin-stabilized, and was known as a 'paddlewheel' spacecraft. The Atlas-Able launch vehicle was destroyed in an explosion on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral during a pre-launch static test. The payload of P-1 spacecraft and Able IV space engine was not present on the launch vehicle when it exploded.[1][2]


  1. ^ Gunter's Space Page - information on Pioneer P-1
  2. ^ New York Times, "US Moon Rocket Blows Up in Test", Sept 25, 1959

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