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1st Communication Satellite: A Giant Space Balloon 50 Years Ago

1st Communication Satellite: A Giant Space Balloon 50 Years Ago
Echo, NASA's first communications satellite, was a passive spacecraft based on a balloon design created by an engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center. Made of Mylar, the satellite measured 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter. It launched Aug. 12, 1960. (Image credit: NASA)

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Charles Q. Choi
Charles Q. Choi is a contributing writer for Space.com and Live Science. He covers all things human origins and astronomy as well as physics, animals and general science topics. Charles has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. Charles has visited every continent on Earth, drinking rancid yak butter tea in Lhasa, snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos and even climbing an iceberg in Antarctica. Visit him at http://www.sciwriter.us