Certain people (me) will have hours of fun in the Transistor Museum website. Who can resist stuff like this: Historic Germanium Transistors; General Transistor/General Instrument (5MB pdf)?
I found there a book review of Opening Space Research; Dreams, Technology, and Scientific Discovery, Ludwig, George H., American Geophysical Union, Washington DC, 2011. (478pp), ISBN: 978-0-87590-733-8.
There I saw these photos, including a thanks for the transistors! note from James Van Allen to Texas Instruments. I believe these particular transistors are silicon, but it got me wondering:
Question: The first transistors in space: Germanium or Silicon? What about in orbit?
below x2: from the Transistor Museum's book review of Opening Space Research; Dreams, Technology, and Scientific Discovery.