Cell phones, Internet, satellite television - they’re all technologies our society takes for granted. But about half a century ago, those types of communications were pure science fiction. Telstar, the world’s first global communications satellite, set us on a path to change that, and on Thursday the National Air and Space Museum marked the 50th anniversary of Telstar’s first television transmission.
Telstar’s July 1962 launch marked the birth of telecommunications, sending the first global transmission of a television signal. That first picture came from Andover Earth Station, Maine, to the Pleumeur-Bodou Telecom Center, Brittany, France. The satellite also handled telephone and fax signals.
Some of the first public video from the satellite included remarks from then-President John F. Kennedy, and a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs.