Science: The Silvery Moon

The earth satellite that the U.S. will launch sometime during the International Geophysical Year (July 1957 through December 1958) will be as round and silvery as any moon over Tin Pan Alley. The man-made moon will be a shiny magnesium sphere 20 inches in diameter, weighing 21½ Ibs., according to details revealed this week in Detroit by the contractor, Brooks & Perkins, Inc.

Electronic equipment to flash to earth data on such matters as cosmic rays and gravitational pull will account for 80% of the weight. The skin of the hollow ball will be one-fiftieth of an inch thick. Jutting from the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!