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Live Via Satellite

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the ground-control-to-major-tom dept.

Space 89

markhb writes "40 years ago today, the first trans-Atlantic TV transmission made it out of the Maine woods and into history, via the original Telstar. The IEEE and Lucent plan to commemorate the event at three events today in Pleumeur-Bodou, France, Goonhilly Downs, England, and Andover, Maine."

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89 comments

fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863627)

fp! cheesemonkeys for you!! hee hee hee hee hee!

Thanks for the fp, fagit! (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863658)

Your post has been duly ignored and claimed for the CLIT. AC's have no claim to first post, and never will, because they post above -1.

First sattelite post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863631)

is that what they'd say today?

FP MOFO'S!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863632)

SUCK EEEEIIITTTT!!!

Disclaimer (4, Funny)

tunah (530328) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863635)

The IEEE and Lucent plan to commemorate the event at three events today in Pleumeur-Bodou, France, Goonhilly Downs, England, and Andover, Maine

Disclaimer: Slashdot is a subsidiary of Andover [andover.net]/OSDN [osdn.com]

Oh, wait...

Re:Disclaimer (1)

Distortions (321282) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863761)

Andover?

Yes slashdot is a subsidiary of andover.. andover andover andover *crash*.

Then 15 people instantly post:
Ooh it's been ./ed! ;o)

Sorry, cheap joke.. I just couldn't help it.

LIVE VIA SATELLITE!! (1)

explosionhead (574066) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863646)

47 Channels, and there's still nothing on.

Re:LIVE VIA SATELLITE!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3864413)

Hrm.... Back in 1979 all I had was 13 channels of shit on the TV to choose from.

tut tut tut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863648)

the Slashdot editors have been a tad late in reporting this one ;)

Love u guys.

40th anversary, celebrate!

Trollling in the name of by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863672)

Credits: Big Dogs Cock

Trolling in the name of
Some of those that boot Suse
Are the same that bought XP
Some of those that boot Suse
Are the same that bought XP
Trolling in the name of
And now you run what they told you
And now you run what they told you
And now you run what they told you

95 is justified for running the games that you didn't buy
95 is justified for running the games that you didn't buy
Some of those that boot Suse
Are the same that bought XP
Some of those that boot Suse
Are the same that bought XP

And you run what they told you
Now your under control
And you run what they told you
Now your under control
And you run what they told you
Come on!

Fuck you I wont run what you tell me
Fuck you I wont run what you tell me
Fuck you I wont run what you tell me
Fuck you I wont run what you tell me
Motherfucker

- poopbot: for the crapflooder in all of us

England, France, Main?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863680)

What country is main?

it's beside part?

damn americans

Re:England, France, Main?! (1)

deniea (257313) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863838)

That should not be so hard to answer..

Guess there's 2 parts only: main and not main..

Ironic... (1)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863685)

that this should follow a discussion about the digital dark ages and my mental edit of this line:
The IEEE and Lucent plan to commemorate the event ....by having the original broadcasters arrested for not paying their fees for 10 years retroactive from the original broadcast.

Blair Witch Project ame from there too... (2, Interesting)

puto (533470) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863699)

All well and nice to commemorate this first signal and all....

But didn't the Blair Witch Project come outta those woods too? They must be cursed, cause the utter shite that movies was still gives me nightmares.

I won't ever go back in the woods again.

Puto

Re:Blair Witch Project ame from there too... (2, Informative)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863799)

well. No

The blair witch came from Burkittsville Maryland, about 10mi from where I live.. and as for woods there's not much there but a small park and the appliachian(sp) trail. all they really filmed from there was the cemetary AFAIK.

just a little high town with some farms, I went there and didn't see any witch... so dissapointed

Re:Blair Witch Project ame from there too... (1)

sparty (63226) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863868)

Hmm...well, Andover, Maine is a little town with a few farms on the Appalachian Trail, too. So maybe there *is* a connection...

waste of time (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863712)

what a waste, precious bandwidth wasted on those euros. All satellite usage should be devoted to transmitting sailor moon.

Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863729)

Here's Telstar [sixtiescity.com] I saw a real clip of the pictures arriving at the BBC a while ago but I can't remember the URL, anyone? I know my father said he watched it.

Re:Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863792)

More here [forsyth.net] too, I'm sure I've seen Telstar [forsyth.net] hanging from the roof in a few clubs, and I've probably also seen this groundstation [forsyth.net] when I'm stoned.

I wasn't even born then (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863730)

Has it been that long? I thought they started with this in the 80's... But then again, everything started in the 80's according to my memory. Now guess my age :-)

Re:I wasn't even born then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3864163)

well, you write like a 7 year old

then shouldn't.. (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863736)

40 years ago today, the first trans-Atlantic TV transmission made it out of the Maine woods and into history, via the original Telstar.
If they're celebrating this, shouldn't they broadcast it the same way as it was back then? I'm sure a good .. 5 people could watch it ;)

Re:then shouldn't.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863798)

Sure, if you have the right antenna [group-trotter.net].

Goonhilly (4, Informative)

andyr (78903) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863757)

Visited Goonhilly some time ago. It has a number of dishes now - from the very old ones, the biggest, to the new ones. The old ones had to track small, weak satellites in low earth orbit, and consequently had a large diameter and had to slew fast.

The newer ones are smaller, and often fixed, pointing to satellites in geo-stationary orbit.

There there are a pair of microwave dishes (in and out?) that look small, but carry all the terrestrial traffic to/from Goonhilly.

At the time (12 years ago ?) Goonhilly carried almost all Europes transatlantic traffic.

Cheers, Andy!

Re:Goonhilly (1)

class_A (324713) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864989)

Just been there recently whilst on holiday for a few days in Cornwall.

Enjoyed the new visitors centre and a tour of the site, my girlfriend also enjoyed it so it must have been good :-)

There's a number of earth stations in Cornwall, as well as being the area in which most of the UK's international undersea cables terminate. It's steeped in communication history!

More info on Goonhilly here [bt.com] (non-Flash version here [bt.com]).

Telstar 1 communication frequencies?? (2)

green pizza (159161) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863766)

Quoth the NASA site, "Frequencies used were 6,390 MHz uplink and 4,170 MHz downlink".

Is this a typo? How were such frequencies possible in the early 1960s? And using less than 15 watts to boot!?

Re:Telstar 1 communication frequencies?? (1)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863836)

actually if you look into some extremely high priced equiptment the govt's used in 1960 you can find things up to 60ghz.

Re:Telstar 1 communication frequencies?? (1)

AB3A (192265) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864166)

Marconi himself used to experiment with high power troposcatter at around 1 or 2 GHz around 80 years ago. In fact, during the 1950s and 60s the military and the phone company made extensive use of microwave troposcatter technology. They knew very well how to generate lots of microwave energy.

Yes, they used tube technology including travelling wave tubes and Klystrons. We don't use them much these days because their lifetime is limited, they require high voltages and a heater, and they're not particularly efficient or low noise.

Still, even today, when you need high power, many applications still use travelling wave tubes.

Re:Telstar 1 communication frequencies?? (1)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864224)

Microwave frequencies have been generated since before World War I. Do a search for "klystron tube" and you'll find several references.

Klystrons are capable of hundreds of Gigahertz and Megawatts of power.

Re:Telstar 1 communication frequencies?? (1)

bplipschitz (265300) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864459)

--
Is this a typo? How were such frequencies possible in the early 1960s? And using less than 15 watts to boot!?
--

I'm not sure I understant the '. . .using less than 15 watts. ..' part of the comment. It doesn't take much power to communicate with a satellite, especially a LEO. I've done it reliably using around a watt or so.

--bpl

Good Name... (2)

telstar (236404) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863769)

"40 years ago today, the first trans-Atlantic TV transmission made it out of the Maine woods and into history, via the original Telstar."
  • I can't say much for what they transmitted, but I like the name of the satellite.

Re:Good Name... (1)

Blue 1ce (218121) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863827)

Looks like other people liked the name too...

From the Lucent Press Release

The new communications satellite fired the imaginations of people around the world. The global television audience for the Telstar debut numbered in the hundreds of millions. An instrumental hit called "Telstar" by a British rock group, the Tornadoes, stayed on the Billboard Top 40 music chart for 13 weeks, including three weeks at No. 1. And Jazz legend Duke Ellington composed a short piece also entitled "Telstar."

http://www.lucent.com/press/0702/020710.bla.html

Re:Good Name... (2)

sparty (63226) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864132)

It's also the name of the local high school for MSAD44 (school district including Andover, Maine), the name of a video rental place in Bethel, Maine, and I think there are a couple of other "Telstars" near there.

Re:Good Name... (2)

jpostel (114922) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864285)

Yeah. If you drive by the high school, they have some big NASA-looking sign in front of the school. I skied against them in high school and the first time I saw the school, I thought it was some sort of high tech engineering company because of the sign out front.

Re:Good Name... (1)

dadurling (592083) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864852)

I drive by the Telstar High School on my way to the Sunday River ski resort. Always wondered why it was called that!

tv newsreels (1)

Blue 1ce (218121) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863781)

yeah, can you imagine a world where tv newsreels where send via airmail to the broadcasting station?

weird thought. we've come a long way in 40 years...

Re:tv newsreels (2)

Xenu (21845) | more than 11 years ago | (#3865673)

When I lived in Hawaii, most network television programming was shipped in from the mainland on videotape. Only special programs, like the evening network news, were sent via satellite.

Many syndicated radio shows used to be distributed on LPs, you know, the big round black vinyl things.

Hi-Res photo of Telstar 1 (5, Funny)

green pizza (159161) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863789)

http://www.lucent.com/minds/telstar/telstarsat.jpg [lucent.com]

It sickens me that this is hosted by Lucent, but it does the job. Too bad more neat "online" photos wern't at this resolution...

Re:Hi-Res photo of Telstar 1 (1)

stak (3074) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864048)

It sickens me that this is hosted by Lucent, but it does the job.

I guess I am ignorant of something here, but why does this bother you?

Re:Hi-Res photo of Telstar 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3867415)

He's prolly a stockholder; their is his loss is his loss. ....... same deal with a lot of microsoft apologists... that's their real motive.

Goonhilly Downs (2)

NiftyNews (537829) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863791)

"The IEEE and Lucent plan to commemorate the event at three events today in Pleumeur-Bodou, France, Goonhilly Downs, England, and Andover, Maine "

That's great news! Goonhilly Downs needed a second big event to add to their annual "Laughing At Our Town's Name Festival".

Re:Goonhilly Downs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863907)

Except that as we Proud Cornish foke know, Goonhilly is the name of the downs, not the town :)

St Keverne, Manacan, and Coverack are the nearest villages. (Depending on which roads you use... :) )

Re:Goonhilly Downs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863947)

I wouldn't bother if I were you. Despite the fact that a good proportion of the American idiots posting on Slashdot are of British descedancy, they couldn't care less about the geography of the British Isles. They actually think it's funny to be ignorant twats.

Re:Goonhilly Downs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863986)

Well I'm proud of cornish heritage!

Onen hag oll!

You got the name wrong, of course (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863826)

it's just GOONHILLY DOWN - there's no extra "s"

Re:You got the name wrong, of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3864057)

The poor guy had a lisp. Leave him alone.

Re:You got the name wrong, of course (1)

R066 (592047) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864140)

erm.. you sure? Well my family lives round the corner, and that's what we've always called it.. Besides, the name of the station is Earth Station Goonhilly...

Re:You got the name wrong, of course (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864207)

not 100% sure, but the mug that I'm drinking my tea out of RIGHT NOW says "Goonhilly Down". I bought it from BT's shop at their facility. Despite it being BT operated, the tour is quite interesting - definitely worth a look if you're down that way. Believe it or not, they actually have a small BT "high street" phone down there too. Just in case you were driving past the Earth Station and felt an urgent need for a new BT Response 'phone. Truly risible. Dishes are great, though!

How the mighty have fallen (2)

gelfling (6534) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863842)

It looks like ATT in the early 60's pretty much invented our whole world. And now, it's pretty much just 5000 minute calling plans and crappy stock performance.

Re:How the mighty have fallen (1)

byrd77 (171150) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864136)

That's because the ATT of the early 60's got busted up into the companies that run much of our world today...

The baby bells, SBC, PacBell, etc...
Lucent...

not to mention the research the old ATT funded all over.

They did indeed invent much or our (techno at least) world.

Technology has come a long way. (1)

LeiraHoward (529716) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863849)

It's hard for me, a child of the 80's, to picture a world without satellite communications. So much of the world's communication system is dependant upon satellites!

Technology has come a long way. Three hundred years ago, it took months, years even, to send a letter to loved ones across the nation. Missionaries and adventurers, people who moved to different countries, different states even, would likely never hear the voices of their extended family again. Now, even residents of the jungle can connect to the internet via satellite, use vidcams and microphones for a direct conversation with their families, or call them up via cell phone. Communication has come a long way with the advent of satellite communications, among other things.

It makes me wonder, though. What would happen if a massive solar flare or some such space phenomena took out all of the satellites? Would earth communications still function?

I'm sure the ingenuity of the human race would reinstate communications soon enough. After all, one of the most important things in life is talking with the ones you love.

Re:Technology has come a long way. (2)

JimPooley (150814) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863949)

What would happen if a massive solar flare or some such space phenomena took out all of the satellites? Would earth communications still function?

Well, landlines would... Anyone navigating by GPS would be in trouble though!

Re:Technology has come a long way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3863964)

"Three hundred years ago, it took months, years even, to send a letter to loved ones across the nation"
Thing of the past? You obviously haven't used RoyalMail recently, also a century ago we had trains going over 100mph but these days there's often 30mph speed limits on poor old British tracks, hah, progress.

Re:Technology has come a long way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3864893)

Stand 12 feet from the tracks sometime and watch a locomotive roar towards you at 30 mph. You will then understand conservation of momentum, and exactly WHY trains are no longer permitted to go 100 mph ;)

But it still can't change history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3864000)

Three hundred years ago, the population of the colony was about 275,000 (all located in the northeast). They didn't have any loved across the nation to send letters to.

I assume you're talking about the United States in your post.

Re:Technology has come a long way. (4, Informative)

renehollan (138013) | more than 11 years ago | (#3865491)

Lesse, what do you take for granted that didn't exist for me, a child of the 60s (I'm presuming here that by child of the xx's, you mean someone born in the early part of the xx decade -- in some contexts "child" in that phrase refers to an adolescent and not "under 10").

0. ATMs and "multi-branch banking": no longer did you have to go to your branch to make deposits and withdrawls, nor did you have to deal with a human teller.

1. VCRs: they didn't start getting popular until about 1979-1981, and cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Do you remember the VHS vs. Beta format wars?

2. Compact Disks: radio stations started using them instead of records, calling them "laser disks" (not to be confused with video laser disks), and making a big deal of the quality (over well-worn vinyl). The first ones were around $3000. By 1986, you could get a portable for around $200.

3. Cellular phones: about the size of a brick, access was available in few metropolitan areas. They first started to be used in cars, because of their bulk, replacing older-style "mobile phones", that were essentially radios.

4. Pocket calculators. We got to use slide-rules in science class: pocket calculators were considered an unfair advantage for those students who could afford $150 for four functions and square root.

5. Computers: the hobbyist Altair became available, with an 8080 CPU, and was featured in a January 1975 Popular Electronics article. The Apple ][, and a host of CP/M-based machines followed. As this is a geek forum, I'll dwell a bit on the pre-history of 1975-1981. The Altairs (and IMSAIs) were big, boxy, noisy, and expensive: I remember 256 bytes of memory costing $119. The 2102 1kbit static ram was a breakthrough: 8 kilobytes could fit on an S100 card (for the Altair or IMSAI) that was about the width and height of a notebook computer (thinner obviously). The only people who had such computers were die-hard geeks and hackers, generally with a hardware, rather than software bent: you built your own memory boards to save money, because pre-built boards where much more expensive than kits; and you scrounged HAM-fests for teletypes and built serial I/O and cassette interfaces (so you could save your programs). Altair Basic was a big deal: it only took 8 minutes to load from cassette. Dumb terminals could be had, but cost from one to three thousand dollars. The Apple ][ was one of the first compact, inexpensive computers: with a TV, disk drives, and DOS, a system could be put together for around $10,000.

Of course, 1981 brought the IBM PC (which initially supported a cassette port: disk drives were still a luxery for many). Ten megabyte hard disks became available by the mid 80s (full-height). I mention this because however crude you might think the PCs of the 80s were compared to today's PCs, they were light-years ahead of the mid to late 70s prehistoric versions, which really could not be called "personal".

By the mid-80s I had seen more technological innovation in 20 years, than my parents did since they were born: for them, the big things were affordable cars, planes, phones, TVs, and perhaps Cable TV. I suppose the really big thing for them was electricity.

Of course, 20 years later we have recordable CDs and DVDs, digital cameras, miniture cell phones, the Internet, on-line billing, ordering, blogs, cyber-porn (can you imagine the porn industry when the only distribution medium was 16 mm film for a projector: "dirty magazines" with still pictures was all there was for most male teens to leer at -- today if you want hard-core porn, you probably do "read Playboy just for the articles"), MP3 players, digital TVs, PDAs, combination MP3 players, phones, and PDAs, instant messaging, personal FAX machines, satellite TV, home theatres, multi-channel sound (though quadraphonic kinda sputtered and died in the 70s), and so on.

So, yeah, the last 20 years have been a whirlwind of technological progress. But the "slow, and dull" progress of the 60s and 70s, was, at the time, no less dizzying to those of us who lived through it (VCRs!: time shifting!! [evil teenage boy grin: live action pornography with sound!])

Pleumeur-Bodou (2, Interesting)

monotoy (577581) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863875)

If you ever make it to northwestern france, be *sure* to check out the communication site at Plemeur-Boudou! It's very cool, you drive through a forest in a hilly landscape, and all of a sudden huge satellite dishes pop out like mushrooms ... and you can still visit this very first satellite. all in all, very impressive.

Re:Pleumeur-Bodou (2, Interesting)

o'reor (581921) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864542)

Also pay a visit to the telecom museum, located in the main antenna basement (that huuuuuge white balloon that can be seen miles around). I think there's also a planetarium nearby. Beautiful place (I've lived in the area, I'm intending to go back there within a few months...)

More information... (4, Interesting)

RobinH (124750) | more than 11 years ago | (#3863994)

It's interesting to note that domestic television satellites didn't reach North America until 1972, 10 years after Telstar. Here's a link to a Communications Satellites Short History. [nasa.gov] From that page:

In 1965, ABC proposed a domestic satellite system to distribute television signals. The proposal sank into temporary oblivion, but in 1972 TELESAT CANADA launched the first domestic communications satellite, ANIK, to serve the vast Canadian continental area. RCA promptly leased circuits on the Canadian satellite until they could launch their own satellite. The first U.S. domestic communications satellite was Western Union's WESTAR I, launched on April 13, 1974.

That's odd... (1)

slykens (85844) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864019)

From the article:

The televised transmission on July 11, 1962, showed an American flag waving in front of the Andover Earth Station ... That same day the first long-distance telephone call via satellite was carried by Telstar. During the call, President Lyndon Johnson spoke to Fred Kappel, then chairman of AT&T.

Kennedy wasn't shot until November 22, 1963. This article claims LBJ was President on July 11, 1962. Then later the article mentions President Kennedy making a press release. It MUST be a conspiracy.

Keeping on topic, someone mentioned earlier about what would happen if all the satellites went away... Well, I would guess there wouldn't be much on TV and a lot of pagers would not work but our domestic voice telephone network should continue to work ok, as well as communications with most of Western Europe. The only trouble I could imagine for the domestic voice network would be very remote stations linked via satellite instead of microwave and COs using GPS as an accurate time source without a backup. I'm fairly sure most of the voice network is terrestrial in nature, be it fiber or microwave.

Nit picking I know but... (1)

The Rev (18253) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864031)

That same day the first long-distance telephone call via satellite was carried by Telstar. During the call, President Lyndon Johnson spoke to Fred Kappel, then chairman of AT&T.

I rather suspect that many transatlantic calls were made by test engineers long before anyone was bold enough to hand a phone to the President of the USA! <grin>

When I was but a lad.... (3, Informative)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864145)

When I was but a lad, we used to vacation in Rangeley Lakes, ME. My father (who worked for AT&T at the time) took the family over to Andover to see the ground station. I remember it as being this fantastically huge globe with a microwave transmitter inside it.

Also, I remember my father taking us outside of our home on Long Island to see Telstar going overhead. Nowadays, you can see satellites just by looking up and waiting ten or fifteen minutes.
-russ

Video Conference "reenactment"? (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864147)

What does this mean?
a video teleconference to re-enact the first satellite broadcast was planned.

I'm imagining a bunch of people all conferenced up, trying to get ancient equipment up to send a trans-atlantic signal but meanwhile able to problem solve in real time with each other. Bizarre.

Either that or they're going to do a videoconference that shows little more than a flag flying in front of the Earth Dome thing. ("Let's try to dumb it down some more, people, this isn't a re-enactment until the signal's a hazy, fixed frame. Oops -- our conferencing software heard the flag snapping in the breeze and automatically zoomed in a little to center on the speaker...")

It's a brave new world.

I watched in 1962--so historic, yet so forgettable (2)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864186)

I was attending summer school at the time. In 1962, like most college students, I did not have television sets in my dorm room; television sets were still fairly big, fairly heavy, and fairly expensive--and there were certainly no cable jacks in dorm rooms. It took a little searching to find a lounge somewhere in the university that had a TV set. And then I had to convince the people in the lounge to let me tune to the channel that was carrying it.

I felt at the time that this was a turning point in history--like the first transatlantic broadcast over that technological wonder, the "coaxial cable," which I had seen as a kid. _I_ was fairly excited by it. But the general lay population hardly knew or cared about it. Some years before, when my family and I went into the schoolyard on a summer evening to view the Echo satellite, we had plenty of company. In contrast, the Telstar broadcast went virtually unnoticed.

Well, of course, it WAS utterly boring. Speeches by dignitaries and some miserable scraps of French Ed-Sullivan-show-type entertainment--I think I remember some singers and some dancers.

Yes, it WAS an historic moment--yet utterly forgettable.

Later that year, an instrumental number named "Telstar" (for no apparent reason) made the top forty. Lots of people knew that tune. I'm not sure what percentage of them knew that "Telstar" was the name of a communications satellite.

French Show The Day Before the Europe-to-US One (1)

mbutts (211627) | more than 11 years ago | (#3864250)

This apparently commemerates the first official US-to-Europe transmission. I clearly remember that as soon as Telstar came up the French sent the first Europe-to-US program, a wonderful last-minute little program with a singer and live shots around Paris. This was the day *before* the officially planned "first" program from Europe. Tweaked the proper British authorities a bit as I recall. I saw it on network TV in the US. Yet I've never found any reference to it in TV histories or web sites. Doesn't someone else remember it?

Eisenhower supports 'an' Open source initiative (1)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 11 years ago | (#3865183)

This Nation has traditionally followed a policy of conducting international telephone, telegraph, and other communications services through private enterprise subject to governmental licensing and regulation. We have achieved communications facilities second to none among the nations of the world. Accordingly, the Government should aggressively encourage private enterprise in the establishment and operation of satellite relays for revenue-producing purposes. Putting satellites into government control would have been the equivalent of "closing the source", privatizing them meant many people working on many problems...sounds familiar. Ike was obviously a visionary, wonder what his opinion of Open Source software would be? Karl

Beatles were more memorable (3, Informative)

alext (29323) | more than 11 years ago | (#3865344)

The first worldwide TV program was 5 years later (June 25, 1967) - the Beatles in their Magical Mystery Tour mode doing "All You Need is Love." Covered 24 countries, 5 continents via Echo II (?) a satellite which had no transmitter, just a reflector.

I'm sure some worthy celebs would like to commemorate this event - how about it Sir Paul/Mick?

(Unfortunately, though alive I think I was probably tuned to Listen with Mother [whirligig-tv.co.uk] instead :( )

Echo I A (1)

seawall (549985) | more than 11 years ago | (#3865506)

It's not an actively used technology but wasn't the first comsat to be used for a transatlantic TV signal Echo Ia? It certainly launched before Telestar I.

For those of you too young to know: It was a great big silvered balloon. They blew it up when it reached orbit and bounced (as opposed to relayed) signals off it.

Wrong! (1)

Crusty Oldman (249835) | more than 11 years ago | (#3865633)

Wrong! The first transatlantic television transmission was via a satellite named ECHO. ECHO was nothing more than a reflective bag of gas that reflected the TV microwaves back to Earth.

The first public transmission from Europe to the US "featured" Conrad Adenauer making a short, forgettable speech.

PBS satellite interconnection (3, Interesting)

TheSync (5291) | more than 11 years ago | (#3866291)

In 1978, PBS became the first North American broadcaster to use satellite transmission for the primary distribution of its programming.

Before then, most broadcast networks used point-to-point connections such as AT&T's terrestrial microwave system to deliver content to sattions. Satellite was only used to acquire content for networks, not to distribute it to stations.

Fiber optics could change things (2)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 11 years ago | (#3868084)

What I find interesting is that the development of long-distance fiber optics could make a large fraction of satellite use obselete. Already, the majority of international telephone and increasingly television signals are transmitted through fiber optic lines on long distance and undersea cables.

Given fiber optics' HUGE data capacity, the day that fiber optics achieves the last mile data connection into the home residence cheaply is the day small satellite dishes become obselete.

Essentially, satellites in the future will primarily used for communications beyond the reach of fiber optic lines, primarily in remote regions.

Local news coverage.. (2)

sparty (63226) | more than 11 years ago | (#3870485)

And for those of you interseted in the local pseudo-news coverage, the Lewiston Sun-Journal has it here [sunjournal.com].

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