Monday, July 09, 2012

The way we were...Telstar communications satellite launched, July 10, 1962

The Miami News, July 10, 1962. (Click to enlarge)

July 10, 1962...
CAPE CANAVERAL (AP) - A "switchboard" satellite rocketed into orbit today as a possible first step toward a space relay system for swift, world-wide transmission of radio, telephone and television signals.
Telstar: A half century of information from space

By A. Michael Noll

A half-century ago, the world became much smaller. Until then, it was hard to get telephone and television signals from other continents. But then came the launch of Telstar on July 10, 1962 — and everything began to change.

Telstar was the first active relay communication satellite. It received a signal up from Earth and then retransmitted that signal back down, spanning the Atlantic Ocean and bringing continents closer together. The frequency bands used for the uplink and downlink are still the ones mostly used today — Telstar got it right from the beginning. The first test television transmission on July 10, 1962, was a taped video of an American flag. The signal was received in France, but missed in England because the British had the polarization wrong. Later, the first telephone calls across the Atlantic by satellite would be relayed over Telstar. A few weeks afterward, on July 23, Europeans saw Walter Cronkite live, a few minutes of a Chicago Cubs game and even a little of a news conference with President John F. Kennedy.


  1. And several days later, the first porn was transmitted via satellite. Yes, children, that is the progression: the flag, Walter Cronkite, baseball, JFK, and then, porn.

  2. @ Squathole: Did you see the video I posted at the bottom?

  3. That weird sound at the beginning of the song is a tape of a toilet flushing played backwards. The song was produced by insane English music legend Joe Meek (he later committed Ernest Hemingway style after killing his landlord in a dispute over noise from his apartment) and is said to be the first real British rock and roll song.


  4. Read that telstar went out of service because of US testing a nuclear bomb?


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