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50 Years Ago

Early satellite TV predictions highlighted instant communication potential

Excerpt from the October 16, 1965, issue of Science News Letter

8:00am, October 1, 2015
Early Bird satellite

EARLY BIRD  Engineers work on Intelsat I, also known as Early Bird, one of the first international communication satellites. It launched in 1965 to relay and broadcast TV signals between Europe and the United States.

Satellite TV predicted — Thirty-thousand-watt satellites transmitting radio and television directly into homes without the need for ground stations are the prediction of Radio Corporation of America board chairman David Sarnoff…. Such satellites could handle three TV and three radio channels at once, with little modification necessary in present home antennas. “When we can communicate instantly to everybody, everywhere,” he said, “we will set in motion a force whose ultimate political, social and economic impact upon mankind cannot be calculated today….” — Science News LetterOctober 16, 1965


Communication satellites provided global

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