American "moonwatch" observes got their first sight yesterday of the rocket accompanying the Soviet satellite on its trips through the upper air.
A team located at State Teachers College in New Haven, Conn., reported to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory here that it had tracked the rocket for about 35 seconds when it passed over central Connecticut at 6:23 a.m. EDST.
Smithsonian scientists also revealed yesterday that the first photograph of the rocket was made Wednesday by an observatory in New Brook, Alberta, Canada. A copy of the picture has been requested by astronomers here, but had not yet been received last night.
Fred L. Whipple, director of the Smithsonian Observatory, speculated that the satellite may be conserving its battery strength by transmitting scientific data back to Russia only on command. A coded radio signal from a station in Russia may activate a sending device within the satellite which would report on scientific measurements once a day.
There is no evidence to support such a theory, said Whipple, "but it would be a logical thing to do."
"Our office has been running at practically the same speed as the satellite," White said last night. "We won't be able to stay in our orbit much longer unless we get some help soon." Any students interested should report at 79 Garden St. between 9 a.m. and midnight.