Alouette 1, was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from the Pacific Missile Range in California at 6:05am on September 29, 1962, making Canada the third country to put a satellite in Earth's orbit (in what is called the ionosphere). It was launched 5 years after the U.S.S.R. (now the Russian Federation) launched its satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957 and 4 years after the American satellite Explorer 1 was launched in 1958.
Alouette, was used to study the ionosphere, an area of the upper atmosphere where many future satellites would be placed in orbit. Alouette's mission was a complete success and the Canadian director, John Herbert Chapman, became a little bit famous.
The satellite was built in a pair so that if the first one broke they could launch the backup in just a couple of months. It took 3½ years after Alouette's proposal to have it developed and built. When completed Alouette weighed 145kg. Alouette was launched from a Thor-Agena B two-stage rocket.
- CSA Allouette Site
- Canada's Digital Collections government website - About Alouette