Chrysler Jupiter-C Missile w/Explorer I Satellite (1958)
About the Design
First successfully test-fired in 1956, the Jupiter C was actually a Redstone missile (a modified Redstone) adapted for satellite-launching missions. Based heavily on Werner von Braun's WWII-era V-2, the Jupiter C made history on January 31, 1958 when -- following the failure of the Navy's Vanguard satellite launch the previous December -- it launched Explorer 1, America's first successful orbital satellite.
About the Kit
This Hawk kit has been released multiple times; first in the late 1950s, again in the late 1960s (with new box art), and then in the mid-1990s by Glencoe. This is by far the largest of all the plastic Jupiter C kits produced by the major American model manufacturers, standing more than a foot-and-a-half tall.
This particular kit was built from the 1960s reissue and was, in fact, built in the late 1960s (when I didn't know better), hence the god-awful gray paint scheme.