Bringing the latest in satellite technology across the globe.
Yesterday’s update was focused on the anniversary of the very first telecommunications satellite launched into space. Telstar 1, which belonged to the company AT&T, was to be the first communication satellite to deliver TV pictures, fax, and even voice calls through space.
When the small spherical satellite was sent to space in July 1962, it transformed the way communications work for us today. Many look at that historic moment as one of the precursors into the digital age as we know it today. Although Telstar 1 carried only one transponder to relay date, it was a complex mechanism able to deliver either multiplexed telephone circuits or television channels.
However, the satellite’s service didn’t last long. By December of the same year of its launch, Telstar 1’s fragile transistors failed. Aside from the effects of the high-pressure and high-powered launch into space, the communications satellite also faced overwhelming radiation - the effects of US testing of the high-altitude nuclear bomb Starfish Prime.
The nuclear blast not only created a huge electromagnetic pulse over the Pacific, but also release a high number of energy electrons. Telstar 1’s electronic equipment, although restarted again by January of 1963, became irreparable with a transistor failure. The satellite went out of service the following month.
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