NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Telstar 1. Engineers put a fairing around Telstar 1, the world's first commercial communications satellite, before its launch. The fairing protects the satellite during launch before falling away when it has passed through most of the atmosphere. Telstar 1 was built & operated by the American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) company, & was put in orbit on 10 July 1962. It provided direct tele- vision transmission & telephone communication between America, Europe, and Japan. With an orbital period of 2.5 hours, Telstar 1 could only relay signals between two ground stations for about 30-40 minutes during each orbit, when both stations were in its line of sight.
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