Have you ever heard of satelloons?
From about 1956 until 1964, US aeronautics engineers and rocket scientists at the Langley Research Center developed a series of spherical satellite balloons called, awesomely enough, satelloons. Dubbed Project Echo, the 100-foot diameter aluminumized balloons were one of the inaugural projects for NASA, which was established in 1958.

Link -via Dark Roasted Blend

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I just finished the FANTASTIC book "Spin" by Wilson (cant remember his last name). Loong story but sattelites could no longer be used so they used these. thats what reminded me of the book. if you are a sci-fi fan i strongly suggest you read "Spin" (he just wrote a sequel, "Axis" too)
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