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Echo 2

Echo 2 [NASA]

The Echo 2 spacecraft was a 41-m balloon of aluminum foil-mylar laminate. Echo 2 was designed as a rigidized passive communications spacecraft for testing propagation, tracking, and communication techniques. Instrumentation included a beacon telemetry system that provided a tracking signal, monitored spacecraft skin temperature between -120 C and +16 C, and measured the internal pressure of the spacecraft between 5E-5 mm of mercury and 0.5 mm of mercury, especially during the initial inflation stages. This system, which consisted of two beacon assemblies, used solar cell panels for power and had a minimum power output of 45 mW at 136.17 MHz and 136.02 MHz.

Befor the orbital flight was made, two suborbital tests called Big Shot were made. Big Shot 1 failed, when the balloon ruptured during inflation.

In addition to fulfilling its communications mission, the spacecraft was used for global geometric geodesy. The spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere on 7 June 1969.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Communication, passive
Operator: NASA
Contractors: G. T. Schjeldahl Co. (Balloon); Kaiser-Fleetwings Co. (Container)
Equipment: Beacon transmitters
Configuration: Balloon, 41 m
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass: 256 kg
Orbit: 1029 km × 1316 km, 81.5
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
AVT 1 (Big Shot 1) N/A 15.01.1962 CC LC-17A * Thor-DSV2D
AVT 2 (Big Shot 2) N/A 18.07.1962 CC LC-17A * Thor-DSV2D
Echo 2 (Echo C) 1964-004A 25.01.1964 Va 75-1-1 Thor-DM21 Agena-B

* = suborbital test

References:

Further Echo missions: