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Encyclopedia > Echo satellite
Echo 1 sits fully inflated at a Navy hangar in Weeksville, North Carolina. The spacecraft measured 100 feet across when deployed, and was nicknamed a 'satelloon' by those involved in the project. Credit: NASA.

The Echo satellites were NASA's first communications satellite experiment. Each spacecraft was designed as a metallized balloon satellite acting as a passive reflector of microwave signals. Communication signals were bounced off of it from one point on Earth to another.[1] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... This article is about the American space agency. ... U.S. military MILSTAR communications satellite A communications satellite (sometimes abbreviated to comsat) is an artificial satellite stationed in space for the purposes of telecommunications. ... This article needs translation. ... The reflection of a bridge in Indianapolis, Indianas Central Canal. ... This article is about the type of Electromagnetic radiation. ...


Echo 1

Following the failure of the Delta rocket carrying Echo 1 on May 13, 1960, Echo 1A (commonly referred to as just Echo 1) was successfully put in a 1519 x 1687 km orbit on August 12, 1960. The 30.5 meter (100 foot) diameter balloon was made of 0.127 mm (0.005 inch) thick metallized Mylar polyester film and was successfully used to redirect transcontinental and intercontinental telephone, radio, and television signals. The satellite also aided the calculation of atmospheric density and solar pressure due to its large area-to-mass ratio. As its shiny surface was also reflective in the range of visible light, Echo 1A was visible to the unaided eye over most of the Earth. Brighter than most stars, it was probably seen by more people than any other man-made object in space. Echo 1A reentered Earth's atmosphere and burned up on May 24, 1968. The Delta family of rockets is used in an expendable launch system that has provided space launch capability for the United States since 1960. ... is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mylar is a trade name of DuPont Teijin Films of Hopewell, VA, United States, for biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) polyester film used for its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, and electrical insulation. ... For other uses, see Telephone (disambiguation). ... is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Echo 1 was a passive communications satellite: it functioned as a reflector, not a transmitter. After it was placed in a low orbit of the Earth, a signal would be relayed to Echo, reflected or bounced off its surface, then returned to Earth. Echo 1 was visible to the eye because of its shiny surface, but also because of its low orbit; it would appear from below one side of the horizon, cross the sky, then disappear below the opposite horizon after crossing the sky, as happens with all LEO satellites. A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit in which objects such as satellites are below intermediate circular orbit (ICO) and far below geostationary orbit, but typically around 350 - 1400 km above the Earths surface. ...

Echo 2

Echo 2, a 41.1 m diameter metallized PET film balloon with an improved inflation system to improve the balloon's smoothness and sphericity, was launched January 25, 1964 on a Thor Agena rocket. It was used for more passive communications experiments, and also to investigate the dynamics of large spacecraft and for global geometric geodesy. NASA abandoned passive communications systems in favor of active satellites following Echo 2. Echo 2 reentered on June 7, 1969. Biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (boPET) polyester film is used for its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, gas and aroma barrier properties and electrical insulation. ... is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ... A Thor Agena, ready to launch the SERT-2 (Space Electric Rocket Test-2) spacecraft, February 4, 1970 Thor-Agena was a series of orbital launch vehicles. ... Geodetic pillar (1855); Ostend, Belgium Archive with lithography plates for maps of Bavaria in the Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation in Munich Geodesy (IPA North American English ; British, Australian English etc. ... is the 158th day of the year (159th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ...

Military use

The Echo satellite program also provided the astronomical reference points required to accurately locate the Russian city of Moscow geographically. This improved accuracy was sought by the US Military for the purpose of targeting intercontinental ballistic missiles. [2]

See also

  • Project SCORE, the world's first communications satellite, launched in 1958.
  • Courier 1B, launched in 1960.
  • Telstar, the first active, direct relay communications satellite, launched in 1962.
  • AO-51, AMSAT-OSCAR 51 (also known as Phase 2E, or ECHO), an amateur radio communications satellite launched in 2004.
  • PAGEOS - a similar balloon satellite project
  • Nick D'Alto "The Inflatable Satellite", Invention and Technology Summer 2007, Volume 23, Number 1 pp. 38-43.

This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Launched October 4, 1960, Courier 1B was the worlds first active repeater satellite. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The original Telstar had a roughly spherical shape. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... AO-51 is the in-orbit name designation of an Amateur Radio satellite (AMSAT) of the OSCAR series; formerly known as ECHO. It was launched on June 29, 2004 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on a Dnepr launch vehicle. ... OSCAR is an acronym for Orbital Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio. ... Amateur radio station with modern solid-state transceiver featuring LCD display and DSP capabilities Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is a hobby that uses various types of radio broadcasting equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Test inflation of PAGEOS PAGEOS (PAssive GEOdetic Satellite) was a balloon satellite which was launched by the NASA in June 1966. ...


  1. ^ JPL The Mission and Spacecraft Library
  2. ^ Gray, M. (1992) Angle of Attack: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon. pp 5-6, Pub: W. W. Norton & Co Inc. ISBN 0-393-01892-X.

  Results from FactBites:
AMSAT - The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (672 words)
Earlier this year the Directors of AMSAT-DL were informed by the University of Marburg in Germany that it had been decided that funding for the ZEL by the University would cease at the end of 2007.
The P3E satellite is still under construction in the ZEL, and its completion is anticipated for sometime in 2008.
It is note worthy that some of the personnel employed by the University to work in the ZEL have undertaken to continue working on P3E as volunteers.
NASA Experimental Communications Satellites (443 words)
The Echo spacecraft was a 100 ft. diameter balloon made of aluminized polyester that was inflated after it was put in a 800-900 nmi.
Echo I not only proved that microwave transmission to and from satellites in space was understood and there would be no surprised but it dramatically demonstrated the promise of communications satellites.
Echo II investigations were concerned less with communications and more with the dynamics of large spacecraft.
  More results at FactBites »



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