Telstar 1—Pioneering Communications Satellite

Here is more about Telstar 1. Built by AT&T Bell Labs and launched by NASA in 1962, Telstar 1 was the first active repeater communications satellite and supported the first live television transmissions between the U.S .and Europe. It was placed in an elliptical orbit with a perigee of 952 km and apogee of 5933 km and had to be actively tracked by antennas relaying signals through it.

Telstar 1 was destroyed after seven months of operation by radiation from the Starfish Prime space nuclear test in July, 1962. The now-inert satellite remains in orbit today.


My father worked for Bell Tel. I remember him taking us out to the back yard on Long Island to see it pass overhead. I must have been 5.

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