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Photograph of Scientists Testing a Laser Beacon for Project Gemini, ca. 1965

Photograph of Scientists Testing a Laser Beacon for Project Gemini, ca. 1965

Private organizations have served as indispensible partners to the civilian space program since NASA’s formation and have shared in its success. Here, Dr. Paul C. Fletcher and Mr. Duane D. Erway, employees of Electro-Optical Systems, Inc. (EOS), test a NASA-funded laser beacon for the Gemini Program. The beacon emitted a pencil-thin beam from Earth into the upper atmosphere. NASA and EOS hoped that the beacon might serve as an alternative communication system for manned flights if it was visible from the spacecraft while in orbit.

RG 46, Records of the U.S. Senate

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