In August of 1960 the United States launched the first successful Echo satellite. This was actually a huge silvered 100 foot in diameter balloon that was inflated at an orbital altitude of almost a thousand miles. The local paper would print the time for best observation. Evening passes were best and we would go out and watch it pass over. It was much like Venus at it's brightest but moved fast across the sky. It was a thrill to watch. You could even follow it with the telescope if you were quick enough. The best view was when there were clouds with lots of openings. It was a sight to watch it pass behind clouds and then jump out in the clear areas, it gave a 3D perspective which I never tired of watching. Yes I still catch the Space Station whenever I can but Echo was the first satellite for a boy.
Clear Sky - Rich