When this stamp was issued in December of 1960, Echo 1A, otherwise known as Echo I was orbiting Earth. The Echo 1A satelite was an inflated sperical balloon measuring 100 feet in diameter (30.5 meters). Echo I was a passive communication satelite, radio signals transmitted to it were reflected by an metalized coating on the surface of the satelite.
In 1960, when the stamp was designed, few had correctly envisioned the appearence of the earth from space. This historic stamp does illustrate the bouncing of radio transmissions from earth, off the satelite's aluminized surface, back to the earth.
For further reading, see NASA's The Odyssey pf Project Echo. This site is highly recommended if you are interested in space history.
Another note in space history: Echo was probably the most viewed satelite during the 1960's from its launch on August 12, 1960, until its re-entry on May 24, 1968. It appeared as a bright star in motion, perhaps diappearing behind the Earth's shadow as it orbited.
Check out this interesting video on Project Echo:
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