a satellite in space: An illustration of Canada's first satellite, Alouette-1, which launched Sept. 28, 1962. © Provided by Space An illustration of Canada's first satellite, Alouette-1, which launched Sept. 28, 1962.

On Sept. 28, 1962, Canada launched its first satellite, Alouette 1. This made Canada the third country to build and launch its own satellite after the U.S. and the Soviet Union.?

Alouette 1 was designed to study Earth's ionosphere, which is a region in the upper atmosphere that is ionized by solar and cosmic radiation.?

The mission lasted 10 years before the satellite was decommissioned, but the derelict satellite is still orbiting the Earth.

Catch up on?our entire "On This Day In Space" series on YouTube with this playlist.

a stack of flyers on a table © Provided by Live Science

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On This Day in Space Archive!

Still not enough space? Don't forget to check out our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week.?

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her?@hannekescience. Follow us?@Spacedotcom?and on?Facebook.?

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