Udvar-Hazy Center Site Index
Echo 1 Gallery


Echo 1 Communications Satellite

Launched in 1960, Echo 1 was designed to explore the new field of communications via space. Its design was remarkably simple: a reflective sphere 30 meters (100 feet) in diameter that bounced signals directed at it from one location on Earth to another. By the time Echo 2 was launched in 1964, other types of communications satellites had proven superior, and researchers used the Echos primarily for scientific experiments.

Echo satellites posed a unique technical challenge. They were essentially balloons sent into orbit folded flat and then inflated in space. Inflation had to proceed carefully to ensure the integrity of the satellite's surface. This one is a flight spare folded in its launch canister.

Length, upper stage: 2.4 m (8 ft)
Width, Echo container: 0.9 m (3 ft)
Manufacturer: G.T. Schjeldahl Co.

Transferred NASA Langley Research Center

Echo 1 at Udvar-Hazy Center
Time picture taken Mon Jun 18 14:19:34 2007
Location picture taken Ground Level
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Udvar Hazy Center
Chantilly, VA
Prev Echo 1 Gallery Next