January 17, 2022, 10:13:46 PM

Telstar's 50th anniversary

Started by smitho, July 26, 2012, 11:58:54 PM

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smitho

It was big, big news in Canberra at the time and indeed, throughout the world.

Close on the heels of the 50th birthday of 'Southern Aurora' comes the 50th anniversary this month of the launching of Telstar, the world's first inter-continental satellite, making possible the first ever transmission of television pictures across the Atlantic.

There is a very interesting short documentary doing the rounds on the Euronews channel on the history of Telstar and the importance of satellite communications in the modern free world.

Aspect I wasn't aware of was a massive horn like receiving device (many tens of metres across) which was built in Brittany (FRANCE) for receiving signals at the European end. Because Telstar was in such low earth orbit, reception was limited to 10 minute windows (presumably once per day).

Although Australia wasn't a direct beneficiary at the time, I recall the big media coverage of the event, including in some of the English papers at the time. (Not long after, of course, this positive news was eclipsed by the Cuban Missile Crisis and then the nasty Profumo Affair).

As with 'Southern Aurora''s launch earlier in 1962, Telstar was recognised with a very popular instrumental hit by the British group, the Tornados...you'll probably recognise the tune; see ......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ybCjf6ras
(In Australia, on Decca label, for just 2/6 (ie 2 shillings and 6 pence = 25 cents)

smitho

Recently purchased The Tornados 'Telstar' LP in CD format. All Good Stuff.

First British band to have a US chart stopper prior to The Beatles era.....