Monday, April 6, 2015

50 Years Ago: First Commercial Communications Satellite

INTELSAT 1, nicknamed "Early Bird."

On April 6, 1965, NASA launched a Delta D rocket from Cape Canaveral carrying the world's first communications satellite developed for geosynchronous orbit. INTELSAT 1 was built by Hughes Aircraft Company for COMSAT. Although it was designed to be in service for 18 months, it actually kept working for 4 years. Although it was shut down after it was used in broadcasts of the Apollo 11 coverage, the satellite is still in orbit. 

Launch of the Delta D with INTELSAT 1.

INTELSAT 1 was the first communications satellite to use almost immediate contact between Europe and America and included television, telephone, and fax transmissions. 

Technicians working on INTELSAT 1.

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