Echo II, a Balloon Satellite

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Echo II is shown here undergoing a tensile stress test in a dirigible hanger at Weekesville, North Carolina. A dirigible is a type of aerostat or “lighter-than-air” aircraft. The 135-foot rigidized balloon satellite was sent into orbit as a passive communications experiment by NASA on January 25, 1964.

When folded, the satellite was packed into the 41-inch diameter canister shown in the foreground.

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