Whatever happened to Telstar? The first communications satellite (COMSAT) to relay television signals launched from Cape Canaveral on July 10, 1962. A video of the launch can be viewed here. Telstar’s Wikipedia entry reveals the COMSAT was a victim of the cold war. “The day before Telstar 1 was launched, the United States had tested a high-altitude nuclear bomb (called Starfish Prime) which energized the Earth’s Van Allen Belt where Telstar 1 went into orbit. This vast increase in radiation, combined with subsequent high-altitude blasts, including a Soviet test in October, overwhelmed Telstar’s fragile transistors…” The satellite went out of service permanently on February 21, 1963. The AT&T-owned satellite inspired The Tornados to a number one hit in the UK and the US also named after the satellite, ‘Telstar‘.
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