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Picture Bounced off Echo I
December 1960 Radio-Electronics

March 1967 Radio-Electronics

March 1967 Radio-Electronics Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio-Electronics, published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

News of the first image being "bounced" off a satellite (Echo 1 in this case) was a big deal in 1967 when this tidbit was reported in the "What's News" column of a 1967 issue of Radio-electronics magazine. However, what caught my eye was the "Sugar Scoop" antenna in the background - the same one which was used by Bell Laboratories research scientists Wilson and Penzias to detect the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB, believed to be the Big Bang signature). Per the copy, that picture was transmitted via interstate landline, then broadcast to the moon and back. It was considered a big deal, even by the military, which considered moonbounce for an emergency communications medium under scenarios of extreme duress. Also in the news was a stereo record impresser for creating custom records - the kind played on a standard turntable. It was the era of sophisticated domestic stereo systems, both electronic equipment and acoustically optimal listening environments.

Picture Bounced Off Echo I

Picture Bounced Off Echo I, December 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafePicture Bounced Off Echo I satellite shows FCC members and NASA administrator. The photo, taken at Bell Telephone Labs in Holmdel, N. J., was transmitted by land line to the Naval Research Laboratory at Stump Neck, Md., and then bounced off the Echo I satellite back to Holmdel. The horn antenna in the background was used to receive the picture. People in the photo are (from left to right): FCC Commissioners John S. Cross and Rosel H. Hyde; Dr. T. Keith Glennan of NASA; Frederick W. Ford, FCC chairman; and Commissioners Robert T. Bartley, Robert E. Lee and T. A. M. Craven.



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