Sometime during the coming geophysical year (July, 1957 to December, 1958) an attempt will be made to launch an artificial satellite in an orbit around the earth. The Office of Naval Research has been assigned the responsibility to perform this task and has established Project VANGUARD in the Naval Research Laboratory to carry it out. The Department of Defense turned to the Navy to manage this triservice project because of its extensive experience in upper-atmosphere research with rockets. The satellite which Project VANGUARD intends to launch in an orbit is a small one, yet must be a research vehicle. The National Committee for the IGY of the National Academy of Sciences has established a panel which is concerned with the nature of the scientific experiments to be done in the vehicle. Work is in progress not only on the vehicles, but on the experiments to be done in the satellite. Experiments conducted in an artificial earth satellite circling the earth in the outer tenuous region of our atmosphere can greatly increase our knowledge of the atmosphere-its structure, its constituents, and the powerful radiations both electromagnetic and corpuscular that impinge upon it and help determine its state.