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Tue Jul 23, 2019, 11:53 AM

57 Years Ago Today; Telstar 1 broadcasts "via satellite" for the first time

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telstar


Model of a Telstar satellite, on display at Conservatoire national des arts et métiers

Telstar is the name of various communications satellites. The first two Telstar satellites were experimental and nearly identical. Telstar 1 launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962. It successfully relayed through space the first television pictures, telephone calls, and telegraph images, and provided the first live transatlantic television feed. Telstar 2 launched May 7, 1963. Telstar 1 and 2—though no longer functional—still orbit the Earth.

Description
Belonging to AT&T, the original Telstar was part of a multi-national agreement among AT&T (USA), Bell Telephone Laboratories (USA), NASA (USA), GPO (United Kingdom) and the National PTT (France) to develop experimental satellite communications over the Atlantic Ocean. Bell Labs held a contract with NASA, paying the agency for each launch, independent of success.

Six ground stations were built to communicate with Telstar. One each in the US, France, the UK, Canada, Germany and Italy. The American ground station—built by Bell Labs—was Andover Earth Station, in Andover, Maine. The main British ground station was at Goonhilly Downs in southwestern England. The BBC, as international coordinator, used this location. The standards 525/405 conversion equipment (filling a large room) was researched and developed by the BBC and located in the BBC Television Centre, London. The French ground station was at Pleumeur-Bodou (48°47′10″N 3°31′26″W) in north-western France. The Canadian ground station was at Charleston, Nova Scotia. The German ground station was at Raisting in Bavaria. The Italian ground station was at Fucino in Abruzzo.

The satellite was built by a team at Bell Telephone Laboratories that included John Robinson Pierce, who created the project; Rudy Kompfner, who invented the traveling-wave tube transponder that the satellite used; and James M. Early, who designed its transistors and solar panels. The satellite is roughly spherical, measures 34.5 inches (876.30 mm) in length, and weighs about 170 pounds (77 kg). Its dimensions were limited by what would fit on one of NASA's Delta rockets. Telstar was spin-stabilized, and its outer surface was covered with solar cells capable of generating 14 watts of electrical power.

The original Telstar had a single innovative transponder that could relay data, a single television channel, or multiplexed telephone circuits. Since the spacecraft spun, it required an array of antennas around its "equator" for uninterrupted microwave communication with Earth. An omnidirectional array of small cavity antenna elements around the satellite's "equator" received 6 GHz microwave signals to relay back to ground stations. The transponder converted the frequency to 4 GHz, amplified the signals in a traveling-wave tube, and retransmitted them omnidirectionally via the adjacent array of larger box-shaped cavities. The prominent helical antenna received telecommands from a ground station.

Launched by NASA aboard a Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral on July 10, 1962, Telstar 1 was the first privately sponsored space launch. A medium-altitude satellite, Telstar was placed in an elliptical orbit completed once every 2 hours and 37 minutes, inclined at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the equator, with perigee about 952 kilometres (592 mi) from Earth and apogee about 5,933 kilometres (3,687 mi) from Earth. This is in contrast to the 1965 Early Bird Intelsat and subsequent satellites that travel in circular geostationary orbits.

Due to its non-geosynchronous orbit, similar to a Molniya orbit, Telstar's availability for transatlantic signals was limited to the 20 minutes in each 2.5-hour orbit when the satellite passed over the Atlantic Ocean. Ground antennas had to track the satellite with a pointing error of less than 0.06 degrees as it moved across the sky at up to 1.5 degrees per second.


177 ft. horn antenna at AT&T's satellite ground station in Andover, Maine, built to communicate with Telstar

Since the transmitters and receivers on Telstar were not powerful, ground antennas had to be huge. Bell Laboratory engineers designed a large horizontal conical horn antenna with a parabolic reflector at its mouth that re-directed the beam. This particular design had very low sidelobes, and thus made very low receiving system noise temperatures possible. The aperture of the antennas was 3,600 square feet (330 m2). The antennas were 177 feet (54 m) long and weighed 380 short tons (340,000 kg). Morimi Iwama and Jan Norton of Bell Laboratories were in charge of designing and building the electrical portions of the azimuth-elevation system that steered the antennas. The antennas were housed in radomes the size of a 14-story office building. Two of these antennas were used, one in Andover, Maine, and the other in France at Pleumeur-Bodou. The GPO antenna at Goonhilly Downs in Great Britain was a conventional 26-meter-diameter paraboloid.

In service
Telstar 1 relayed its first, and non-public, television pictures—a flag outside Andover Earth Station—to Pleumeur-Bodou on July 11, 1962. Almost two weeks later, on July 23, at 3:00 p.m. EDT, it relayed the first publicly available live transatlantic television signal. The broadcast was shown in Europe by Eurovision and in North America by NBC, CBS, ABC, and the CBC. The first public broadcast featured CBS's Walter Cronkite and NBC's Chet Huntley in New York, and the BBC's Richard Dimbleby in Brussels. The first pictures were the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The first broadcast was to have been remarks by President John F. Kennedy, but the signal was acquired before the president was ready, so engineers filled the lead-in time with a short segment of a televised game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The batter, Tony Taylor, was seen hitting a ball pitched by Cal Koonce to the right fielder George Altman. From there, the video switched first to Washington, DC; then to Cape Canaveral, Florida; to the Seattle World's Fair; then to Quebec and finally to Stratford, Ontario. The Washington segment included remarks by President Kennedy, talking about the price of the American dollar, which was causing concern in Europe. When Kennedy denied that the United States would devalue the dollar it immediately strengthened on world markets; Cronkite later said that "we all glimpsed something of the true power of the instrument we had wrought."

That evening, Telstar 1 also relayed the first satellite telephone call, between U.S. vice-president Lyndon Johnson and the chairman of AT&T, Frederick Kappel. It successfully transmitted faxes, data, and both live and taped television, including the first live transmission of television across an ocean from Andover, Maine, US, to Goonhilly Downs, England, and Pleumeur-Bodou, France. (An experimental passive satellite, Echo 1, had been used to reflect and redirect communications signals two years earlier, in 1960.) In August 1962, Telstar 1 became the first satellite used to synchronize time between two continents, bringing the United Kingdom and the United States to within 1 microsecond of each other (previous efforts were only accurate to 2,000 microseconds).

The Telstar 1 satellite also relayed computer data between two IBM 1401 mainframe computers. The test, performed on October 25, 1962, sent a message from a transmitting computer in Endicott, New York, to the earth station in Andover, Maine. The message was relayed to the earth station in France, where it was decoded by a second IBM 1401 in La Gaude, France.

Telstar 1, which had ushered in a new age of the commercial use of technology, became a victim of technology during the Cold War. The day before Telstar 1 launched, a U.S. high-altitude nuclear bomb (called Starfish Prime) had energized the Earth's Van Allen Belt where Telstar 1 went into orbit. This vast increase in a radiation belt, combined with subsequent high-altitude blasts, including a Soviet test in October, overwhelmed Telstar's fragile transistors. It went out of service in November 1962, after handling over 400 telephone, telegraph, facsimile and television transmissions. It was restarted by a workaround in early January 1963. The additional radiation associated with its return to full sunlight once again caused a transistor failure, this time irreparably, and Telstar 1 went out of service on February 21, 1963.

Experiments continued, and by 1964, two Telstars, two Relay units (from RCA), and two Syncom units (from the Hughes Aircraft Company) had operated successfully in space. Syncom 2 was the first geosynchronous satellite and its successor, Syncom 3, broadcast pictures from the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The first commercial geosynchronous satellite was Intelsat I ("Early Bird" ) launched in 1965.

Telstar was considered a technical success. According to a US. Information Agency (USIA) poll, Telstar was better known in Great Britain than Sputnik had been in 1957.

</snip>


It took 11 years, but Elvis finally got on board, from Hawaii... VIA SATELLITE!


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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply 57 Years Ago Today; Telstar 1 broadcasts "via satellite" for the first time (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Jul 23 OP
mahatmakanejeeves Jul 23 #1
Dennis Donovan Jul 23 #5
lapfog_1 Jul 23 #11
The Velveteen Ocelot Jul 23 #2
monmouth4 Jul 23 #3
SouthernProgressive Jul 23 #4
Dennis Donovan Jul 23 #7
SouthernProgressive Jul 23 #8
Dennis Donovan Jul 23 #10
mr_lebowski Jul 23 #6
Dennis Donovan Jul 23 #9

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 11:59 AM

1. Telstar



Telstar (instrumental)

"Telstar"



German picture sleeve

Released: 17 August 1962
Format: 7" vinyl
Recorded: RGM Sound, London, 22 July 1962

"Telstar" is a 1962 instrumental written and produced by Joe Meek for the English band the Tornados. The track reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in December 1962 (the second British recording to reach number 1 on that chart in the year, after "Stranger on the Shore" in May), and was also a number one hit in the UK Singles Chart. It was the second instrumental single to hit number 1 in 1962 on both the US and UK weekly charts.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:24 PM

5. OOOH! That ROCKS!!

GREAT choice!!!!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 01:20 PM

11. my earliest memory of a song...

from very early in my childhood

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)


Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:11 PM

3. I worked at Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ during this very exciting time. n/t

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:15 PM

4. To those with more knowledge.

 

Would eliminating these as space junk be as easy as sending them on a low angle trajectory toward earth? Would that "burn them up?"

Yes, that does look like a very stupid question. I get that.

Thanks for sharing. Such a serious advancement for us. Really neat time.

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Response to SouthernProgressive (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:34 PM

7. I'd prefer to send a device up to snag them, bring them back to Earth for museums...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvage_1

Salvage 1 is an American science fiction series that was broadcast for 16 episodes (of the 20 produced) on ABC during 1979. The pilot film, Salvage, was shown on January 20, 1979, to high ratings.[citation needed]

This show is one of the first new filmed shows from Columbia Pictures Television to not display a copyright notice under the show's logo at the beginning, but rather at the end.

Plot
The pilot centers on Harry Broderick (Andy Griffith) who owns the Jettison Scrap and Salvage Co. and is a specialist in reclaiming trash and junk to sell as scrap. His dream is to recover equipment left on the moon during Apollo Program missions. In the show's opening title narration, Harry states:

I want to build a spaceship, go to the moon, salvage all the junk that's up there, bring it back and sell it.

He invites the former astronaut Addison "Skip" Carmichael (Joel Higgins) and NASA fuel expert Melanie "Mel" Slozar (Trish Stewart) to assist him in this effort.

Broderick and his ragtag crew complete their mission and go on to further adventures in the subsequent series.

The Vulture
Harry builds a spaceship dubbed Vulture, made completely from reclaimed salvage and powered by a chemical called monohydrazine. The main body of Vulture is composed of a Texaco gasoline semi-trailer tank truck with a cement mixer as the capsule. This is augmented with three shorter rocket boosters placed 120 degrees around the main tank.

</snip>



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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:38 PM

8. That would be wonderful.

 

You seem to be knowledgeable on these things. Is there any type of radioactive issue with something that has been up there this long?

I won’t ask you anymore stupid questions. Promise.

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Response to SouthernProgressive (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:47 PM

10. Potentially? But probably no more radiation than a 1966 RCA color TV.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:25 PM

6. What's incredible is how the 10s of 1000's of people involved in these multi-national projects ...

Kept the secret about the Earth actually being a flat disc a total secret, all the way to their graves ...

Just goes to show you ... 'The Keepers of the Spherical Earth Myth' are incredibly powerful.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:44 PM

9. I know, right???

Here's the truth about Flat Earth; in 1492, Cristoforo Colombo sailed the ocean blue, but fell off, only to be replaced by an android that looked VERY similar, but had very different thoughts about slave trading (real Cristoforo thought it was immoral, but Colombot was all into enslaving humans).

Anyhow, fast forward to the New Mexico desert, circa 1947. As Colombot v77.8 was producing his latest batch of Soylent, the government came and... hmmph, wait you guys! I'm only talking about Shaf... hmmph...

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