Echo 1 balloon
The August 12, 1960, launch of the Echo 1A was the first successful one for NASA in its communications satellite program, almost three years after the launch of Russia's Sputnik and two and a half years after the U.S. put its very first satellite, the Explorer 1, into orbit. Not long thereafter, according to the space agency, Echo allowed President Eisenhower to make the first voice communication via satellite.
This image shows the original Echo 1 balloon being inflated in 1958; its launch attempt in May 1960 was not successful. The Echo 1A now is commonly referred to as Echo 1.
August 16, 2010 12:48 PM PDT
Photo by: NASA Langley Research Center
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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