At Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, a Thor-Delta 3-stage rocket was used to put an inflatable sphere - into orbit.
At Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, a Thor-Delta 3-stage rocket was used to put an inflatable sphere - into orbit. The 100-foot-diameter balloon, circling the globe at an altitude of 1,000 miles once every 2 1/1 hours, will help to determine the feasibility of using passive satellites to reflect radio messages between distant points, and could lead to world-wide television and telephone systems.
The Thor-Delta stands 92 feet high, has a maximum diameter of 8 feet, and weighs, fully fuelled, 112,000 pounds. It carried the plastic balloon folded in a magnesium container; at an altitude of 1,000 miles a small explosive charge split the container and ejected the balloon, which began to inflate in the vacuum of space.