Echo I was the world's first communications satellite. It was an early attempt to investigate the practicality of passive communications. It remained in orbit from August 12, 1960, through May 1968. Echo I reflected a two-way voice transmission beamed between transmitters at Cedar Rapids, IA, and Richardson, TX, and also relayed television signals. Echo II was launched January 25, 1964. It established, with its thicker skin, the first satellite communications between the United States and the USSR.