Telstar 1, the world’s first active communication satellite, and also a product of the world’s first privately-sponsored space launch, was launched on this date in 1962. It’s hard to believe that we’ve only had this capability for 45 years. My kids have no idea what a world without this technology is like - just another sign of how old I’m getting, I guess.
I remember the excitement that surrounded the launch and how my dad and I and the neighbors would go outside at night when a pass was scheduled to be visible to see if we could spot it - often times we could.
The ties between Telstar 1 and a future Space Elevator are many:
- Communications satellites were the brainchild of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, also the author of The Fountains of Paradise, the Sci-fi book which popularized the concept of Space Elevators.
- Reducing the cost of satellite launches will be a major reason that a Space Elevator will be built.
- The launch of Telstar 1 ushered in the age of privately-sponsored Space launches, and my money is on private enterprise to build the first Space Elevator.
The Wikipedia article on Telstar 1 makes for fascinating reading.
(Photo from Wikipedia - click on it for a larger version)
Add comment July 10th, 2007