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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Telstar: The satellite that launched the 1960s

video: cheesemoon

Fifty years ago today, Telstar was launched. Here’s my piece from The Daily Express.

FIFTY years ago next Tuesday the world suddenly became a much smaller place. On July 10 1962 at 11.47 GMT, Telstar, the world’s first direct relay communications satellite, was launched into space from Cape Canaveral in the US. For the very first time television pictures, telephone calls and telegraph images could be relayed through space.

Nowadays we don’t think much about it when we sit back and watch major sporting events such as World Cup finals or the Olympics or news stories from the other side of the globe broadcast live on television from wherever they take place. But before Telstar it was a different story……..

Many believed in the Sixties that satellite technology would lead to a more united world. “Both sides of Earth can be in immediate photographic contact, communication that could bring better understanding among men,” a newsreel at the time of the Telstar launch declared.

But although wars still go on the impact the satellite had on our lives cannot be underestimated………

You can read the whole article here.


Robert said...

A very interesting and unexpected article.

Back in pre-Telstar 1956, television was such a novelty in Australia (it had in fact arrived in Australia only that year) that believe it or not, there were not even any landline linkages - let alone satellite communications - for transmitting news footage between Australia's two largest cities. The footage of the Melbourne Olympics had to be sent, each day, by express air-mail to Sydney for broadcast on the evening news bulletins.

Neil Clark said...

Hi Robert,
Many thanks. That's v.interesting about the situation in Australia.