There are 20 different spacecrafts in the game. Let's take a closer look at the history behind them over 20 days as we build toward launch.
Day 10: Proton 1.
The Proton 1 satellite launched on July 16, 1965 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan. The purpose of the mission was to monitor cosmic high-energy rays in the gamma spectrum. It remained in orbit until October 11, 1965. The four large triangular shaped flaps you see in the image are solar panels to keep the battery charged.
The significance of this first Proton satellite launch had more to do with the rocket itself, the UR-500. The rocket was renamed Proton after the successful launch of the Proton 1 satellite. The rocket was originally conceived as an intercontinental ballistic missile to carry thermonuclear weapons. It proved to be much more useful at carrying satellites into low and geostationary orbits.
The Proton family of rockets are actually still in use today! They have flown over 400 missions since their inception and first use to take the Proton 1 satellite into orbit. They have flown missions as late as this summer, but there is a plan on the horizon to shift to a new rocket style by next year, so the Proton may be retired soon.