Historical Electronics Museum, Inc. - History of the Nation's Defense Electronics
Growth In Space Electronics
The possibility that objects could orbit Earth has been known since Newton (1642-1727) described gravity and the Laws of Motion but the Space Age did not began until the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957. The first space programs were driven heavily by political motives but the science and engineering communities soon began to exploit space, exploring the world’s environment, the nature of the universe, and to develop tools for communication and navigation. Scientists were no longer restricted to the limited portions of the electronic magnetic spectrum that penetrate our atmosphere.

In 1961, President Kennedy took a leading role in space by establishing the goal of putting a man on the Moon in less than 10 years and in the full view of the world. The resulting Apollo program succeeded and accomplished these goals. While the manned activity was vigorous, engineers and scientists made use of the new rocket capabilities to develop practical unmanned satellite systems to support space sensors for use in space physics, meteorology, communications, environmental science, and navigation. The military establishments developed capabilities in reconnaissance, navigation and communications that have revolutionized modern warfare.

Space programs are driven by the electronic sensors that are used to exploit space. Satellite orbits were invented to give these sensors the best utilization possible. The Space Sensor Gallery is a collection of artifacts and displays that show how space is used and how the discoveries of space have evolved.

In this Exhibit:
  • The Lunar TV Camera that brought the first steps on the Moon to every living room.
  • AIMP and Ariel II satellites that were part of the scientific investigation of our space environment.
  • See the early Weather satellite sensors
  • The evolution of Navigation satellites with receivers the size of wardrobes to the GPS receivers common today.
  • Observe how Amateur Radio Operators have developed OSCAR satellites in basements for their communication needs.

Lunar Camera


The National Electronics Museum is organized into thirteen related exhibit galleries:
1. Fundamentals Gallery
2. Communications Gallery
3. Early Radar Gallery
4. Cold War Radar Gallery
5. Modern Radar Gallery
6. Countermeasures Gallery
7. Under Seas Gallery
8. Electro-optical Gallery
9. Space Sensor Gallery
10. Past Gallery
11. Web Gallery
12. WWII Radar Kiosk
13. Cold War Radar Kiosk

Click here for an Adobe pdf showing the gallery layout

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