Electronics: Early Bird Aloft

The three-stage Douglas Delta rocket that rose above Cape Kennedy last week tossed its 85-lb. payload into a high elliptical orbit with neat precision. Early Bird, first satellite to be sent aloft by Comsat (Communications Satellite Corp.), climbed as high as 22,300 miles above the earth, then curved down as low as 776 miles. When this original orbit had been analyzed and Early Bird was at an apogee, a signal from the earth fired a small rocket motor to give just enough extra speed to put the satellite into a circular orbit that matched the earth's 24-hour period of...

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