In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, looking more like surgeons, these technicians wearing "cleanroom" attire inspect the Pioneer III probe before shipping it to Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Pioneer III was launched on December 6, 1958 aboard a Juno II rocket at the Atlantic Missile Range, Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission objectives were to measure the radiation intensity of the Van Allen radiation belt, test long range communication systems, the launch vehicle and other subsystems.
The Juno II failed to reach proper orbital escape velocity. The probe re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on December 7th ending its brief mission.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).
Get the Space.com Newsletter
Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes, satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov.