Pioneer P-1

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Pioneer P-1
Pioneer P-1 P-3 P-30 P-31.jpg
Pioneer P-1.
Mission type Lunar flyby
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 1959-E02
Mission duration Failure to launch
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Space Technology Laboratory
Launch mass 88.4 kilograms (195 lb)
Dry mass 25.3 kilograms (56 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date September 24, 1959, 05:44:52 (1959-09-24UTC05:44:52Z) UTC
Rocket Atlas C Able
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-12

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, and the payload was later used in the P-3 mission.[1][2]


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

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