50 years ago, a satellite called Telstar 1 allowed for the first transmission of TV over the Atlantic Ocean, sending images from the U.S. to Europe. It was part of the Space race, and marked another milestone in the creation of our “global village” global information.
The Telstar was a joint project between the U.S. and France, sending the first images from the Andover Earth Station in the American country, and Pleumeur Bodou Telecom Center in the European nation.
The first transmission, which occurred on July 12, 1962, showed images of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. It happened two days after the satellite launch, and was the first transmission happened on two different continents in real time.
The satellite weighed 77 kilos and was flying in low orbit. The signal could only be captured for 20 minutes while passing over the station. The satellite was praised by U.S. President at the time, John F. Kennedy, who in a speech on June 23 said that “this satellite must be high enough to deliver messages to both sides of the world, which is, of course, an essential requirement for peace.”
Despite the peaceful words of Kennedy, the Telstar 1 failed some months later because of U.S. military intentions and the Soviet Union. Both countries were testing nuclear bombs by that time high, which energizaban the Van Allen belts of Earth, which orbited the Telstar 1. Satellite circuits fried and finished ceased operation on February 21, 1963.
While not working, the Telstar 1 still remains in orbit. Since then they have released a multitude of satellite TV broadcasts, allowing rapid communication to widely separated parts of the planet.
Link:marked 50th anniversary of first satellite TV(AFP)