The world’s first reconnaissance satellite, called Galactic Radiation and Background (GRAB), was launched on June 22, 1960. GRAB was developed by the U.S. Naval Re-search Laboratory. The first satellite, GRABI, rose into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida atop a Thor-Able-Star rocket. The GRAB II satellite was successfully launched on June 29, 1961. The GRAB satellites had a dual mission. The unclassified mission was to gather solar radiation data, which was the basis for the name GRAB. The secret mission was to gather radar pulses within a specific bandwidth from Soviet equipment. A signals intelligence package carried aboard the satellite accomplished this.

Source: National Cryptologic Museum