Echo 2, Pageos observing comments

From: Mark Hanning-Lee (
Date: Sat Aug 11 2001 - 19:53:59 PDT

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    Forwarded with permission:
    I can remember that the Echo 2 satellite from 1964 to 1969 was inclined
    degrees to the equator.  I was so high that from the North pole it could
    seen on every pass which was thirteen times a day during the long polar 
    night.  I would get dark enough from the pole to be seen from about
    October 6 
    to March 6. The Pageos balloon which was inclined 86 degrees would also
    visible eight time a day from the pole from about October 11 until the
    end of 
    February.  This was visible from 1966 until most of 1977 was over when
    went to pieces.  Because Pageos was higher than Echo 2 it could be seen
    midnight from Seattle even during the shortest day of the year.  If you
    had a 
    northbound pass about 5:00 PM during the shortest day of the year that
    over Seattle you would get one at 8:00 PM and then about 11:15 PM you
    get one going from left to right that would pass 85 degrees north at a
    that was directly north of Seattle and when the pass went over the
    side of the pole it would be visible low in the North.  Then you would
    get a 
    southbound pass at 2:30 AM and another one at 5:30 AM so five passes
    possible.  Since passes were visible as late at 7:20 AM would have a
    to fit these in with a little leeway or as early as 4:50 PM.  The first
    could be anywhere from 4:50 to 6:50 to get five in.  If you got a
    pass at 4:50 PM you would get another on at 7:50 PM.  However the next
    passes would not be visible as they would pass the North pole on the
    side of Seattle.  Then another pass would be at 4:20 AM northbound and
    might just get in one at 7:20 AM northbound.  Watching them this way you 
    could get an eight an a half hour break so you could get decent night
    although you would have hard for TV viewers as few people had a VCR and
    could not get your network shows earlier at night with a satellite as
    were all delivered by landline back then.  However there were times in
    the last of two months of 1970 when it was at the same time every
    Then evening passes occurred at 5:15 and 8:15 PM southbound and morning 
    passes at 4:45 AM northbound.  Also during the last two months of 1973
    same thing happened again with a northbound pass 4:30 PM and too light
    so you 
    would not get an evening pass until 7:30 PM.  Then you would get late
    passes southbound at 11:00 PM and early morning passes at 2:00 and 5:00
    However I would usually only watch the 7:30 PM and 5:00 AM passes as
    11:00 PM 
    would be rather late when you get up at 5:00 AM.  These were the average 
    times.  On October 28 they were 7:15 and 10:15 and the morning passes at
    and 4:45.  By January 5, 1974, the evening passes were 7:45 PM and 11:15
    with the morning passes at 2:15 and 5:15 AM.  On January 6, 1974, all
    jumped an hour later because winter daylight saving time went into
    This has little effect on what I watched but it sure made my TV viewing
    better because I was now getting up at an hour later by the clock and I
    watch shows until 11:00 PM.
    Gary Peterson
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