Collection Item Summary:
Launched in 1960, Echo 1 served as one of the first attempts to assess requirements and techniques for conducting communications via space. The satellite was a remarkably simple device: A reflective sphere 30 meters (100 feet) in diameter. Acting as a "mirror" in space, signals directed at the satellite from one location on Earth reflected back down to another location. By the time Echo 2 launched in 1964, other types of communications satellites had proven superior, and researchers used the Echos primarily for scientific experiments.
These transmitting beacons provided telemetry data on the operational health of the balloon. They come from a flight spare of Echo I, which NASA transferred to the Museum in 1979. .