Broadband News

Fifty years since launch of Telstar satellite

A great many of our readers will not have been born when the Telstar 1 satellite was launched, this satellite heralded the ability to transmit live TV pictures across the Atlantic. Today in 2012 on the 50th anniversary of its launch, we have a plethora of services reliant on signals from space, and more nations launching their own systems.

Satellite still has a place in ensuring broadband coverage across Europe, and while it may not be the cheapest solution on a per GB basis, as a service that can reach those spots others ignore it is unsurpassed. Back in 1962 it took a room full of hardware and technicians to upload and download the TV signal, now via firms like ToowayDirect it is all done with a small dish and modem in our homes.

The original Telstar was a creation of Bell Labs in America, the firm is now owned by Alcatel-Lucent. For those that have not seen how basic this first TV satellite was, head on over to see some pictures.


We all live in its shadows.

  • uniquename
  • over 8 years ago

At the age of 12 (and an important "half"), I saw the first hazy reception of its signals. As it wasn't geosynchronous it was in range of Goonhilly and the US earthstation for only 20 minutes on each orbit. Standards conversion from US to UK picture format was crude.

They were exciting times. Such a lot followed from it. Without it we would have missed "I'm a Celebrity..." that pinnacle of human achievement.

  • jtevans
  • over 8 years ago

Yes I remember as a 10 year old kid this was seriously exciting- even the commentator (Richard Dimbleby or Raymond Baxter?)trying to work out the smudge on the screen with the immortal line "Is that a face?" was gripping stuff! Cue Tornadoes ;-)

  • gedw
  • over 8 years ago

We all live in its shadows

If that was a reference to 'Telstar' the tune, then it's the wrong band, though understandably similar sound. As the similarly aged gedw points out, it was by The Tornados.

  • anglo
  • over 8 years ago

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