JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Echo 1 satellite. Illustration of the satellite Echo 1 in orbit, with a reflection of the Earth in its surface. Echo 1 was launched on 12 August 1960 and was one of the first satellites to be put into orbit. It consisted of a 30 metre wide plastic balloon coated with aluminium to reflect radio waves, enabling long-distance communication. The satellite was designed by US engineer John Pierce, who borrowed the idea from a science fiction book by Arthur C. Clarke. Echo 1 remained in orbit for almost eight years and was completely successful.
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