Re: Tiros 1 launched into orbit 50 years ago

Date: Fri Apr 02 2010 - 00:54:20 UTC

  • Next message: Bram Dorreman: "Photometric Observations 2010-04-01"

    In a message dated 4/1/2010 12:57:35  P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
    does anyone  remember Echo  1?
    In New  York during the 1960's and '70's, the Hayden Planetarium had a 
    recorded phone  service called "Dial-a-Satellite" where you could call in and 
    get the daily  viewing schedule for Echo I, Echo II and also Pageos, which was 
    another passive  "balloon" satellite.  I used to dial in often . . . the 
    satellite  information were based on calculations provided to Hayden by the 
    Smithsonian  Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and it was 
    through that  service that I saw the two Echos and Pageos many times as 
    they passed over the  NYC Area.  
    Once, in 1967, the service tipped me off about a barium  cloud experiment 
    that was to be launched from Wallops Island . . . an event that  was given 
    short shrift by the news media, until the ion clouds were released  after 
    sundown on a balmy March evening.  Then the news media wanted to know  why there 
    was no publicity about them ( ! ). An astronomer from Hayden later  said: 
    "We did our best to promote it." 
    The phone service averaged about  150 calls per day.  Sometimes, when a 
    special astronomical event (like an  eclipse) was impending, information about 
    the event was included on the recorded  message.  In the February 1966 issue 
    of Natural History magazine, it was  reported that during the apparition of 
    Comet Ikeya-Seki in October 1965, over  1,000 calls per day were logged! 
    There was an article about the  impending demise of Echo I in the April 
    1968 issue of Sky &  Telescope.
    -- joe rao  
    Seesat-l mailing list

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