Officials with Explorer 1 model at Redstone Arsenal, including Maj. Gen. John Medaris (3rd from left), Walter Haeussermann, Wernher von Braun and Ernst Stuhlinger.
Image: US Army Aviation and Missile Command.

On this date in 1954, Wernher von Braun officially proposes the launch of Explorer I, which would become the first artificial satellite of the Earth launched by the United States. You may find more information about von Braun and Explorer I at NASA’s overview page here.