On July 10, 1962, the Telstar 1 satellite was launched into space from Cape Canaveral with a Delta DM-19 rocket . In the same month, the first live television broadcast between the USA and Europe was broadcast with a speech by the American President John F. Kennedy . Since Telstar 1 did not have a geostationary orbit , but rather circled on a highly elliptical orbit 957 × 5600 kilometers in height, the connection could not be maintained for more than 20 minutes. A broadcast was only possible again after a two-and-a-half hour circumnavigation of the earth. To ensure continuous transmission, a constellation of numerous Telstar satellites was planned. This plan was not carried out because geostationary communications satellites were considered more advantageous.
The $ 60 million Telstar 1 weighed 77.2 kilograms and was 88 centimeters in diameter. It drew its energy from 3,600 small, externally mounted solar modules. A two-row arrangement of antenna elements was attached to its equator, and another ring-shaped antenna was attached to one of the poles. This allowed 600 one-way or 60 two-way telephone connections in addition to television broadcasts.
Since the satellite had been damaged the day before by the particle cloud of the extra-atmospheric atomic bomb test, code-named Starfish Prime , it failed prematurely after four months. At the beginning of January 1963 it was possible to put it back into operation until it finally failed on February 21, 1963. As a completely inoperative object, it is still in orbit as so-called space debris.
The successor Telstar 2 , which is slightly heavier with a mass of 79.5 kg , was launched on May 7, 1963, after the original launch date had been postponed in October 1962 in order to add the installation necessary to reach a higher orbit (973 × 10,800 km) Booster to be seen in the launcher. This enabled transmission times of up to 20 minutes. Telstar 2 was used for two years.
The European receiving station for Telstar was built in the French Brittany near the place Pleumeur-Bodou (coordinates ). The pivoting, horn-like antenna weighing 340 tons is located under a radome with a diameter of 50 meters. The buildings can now be viewed as a communication museum.
Later Telstar satellites
In the 1980s, the Telstar name was revived by AT&T for geostationary communications satellites, but these are not direct successors to the original Telstar satellites in terms of their development. The name was also retained by Telesat Canada after the company acquired the satellite division of AT&T in 2007 with Loral Skynet .
|Surname||Start date||Launcher||Starting place||orbit||Satellite bus||Dimensions|
|Telstar 1||July 10, 1962||Delta DM19||Cape Canaveral||945 × 5643 km
× 45 °
|Telstar 2||May 7, 1963||Delta-B||Cape Canaveral||972 × 10,802 km
× 43 °
|Telstar 3 A (301)||July 28, 1983||Delta-3920 PAM-D||Cape Canaveral||76 ° W||HS-376||625 kg|
|Telstar 3 C (302)||August 30, 1984||Space Shuttle PAM-D||Cape Canaveral||125 ° W||HS-376||625 kg|
|Telstar 3 D (303)||June 17, 1985||Space Shuttle PAM-D||Cape Canaveral||76 ° W||HS-376||630 kg|
|Telstar 4 01||December 16, 1993||Atlas-2AS||Cape Canaveral||97 ° W||AS-7000||3375 kg|
|Telstar 4 02||September 9, 1994||Ariane-42L||Kourou||AS-7000||3485 kg|
Telstar 4 02R
(Telstar 4, Telstar 403)
|September 24, 1995||Ariane-42L||Kourou||89 ° W||AS-7000||3410 kg|
(Intelsat Americas 5, IA 5)
|May 24, 1997||Proton-K Block-DM4||Baikonur||97 ° W||SSL-1300||3600 kg|
(Intelsat Americas 6, IA 6)
|February 15, 1999||Proton-K Block DM3||Baikonur||93 ° W||SSL-1300||3763 kg|
(Intelsat Americas 7, IA 7)
|September 25, 1999||Ariane-44LP||Kourou||127 ° W||SSL-1300||3790 kg|
(Intelsat Americas 8, IA 8)
|June 23, 2005||Zenit-3SL||Sea Launch Platform||89 ° W||SSL-1300S||5493 kg|
|Telstar 9||(never started)||SSL-1300S||5493 kg|
|Telstar 10 (APStar 2R)||17th October 1997||CZ-3B||Xi Chang||76.5 ° E||SSL-1300||3700 kg|
|Telstar 11 (Orion 1)||November 29, 1994||Atlas-2A||Cape Canaveral||37.5 ° W||Eurostar-2000||2361 kg|
|Telstar 11N||February 26, 2009||Zenit-3SLB||Baikonur||37.5 ° W||SSL-1300||4012 kg|
|Telstar 12 (Orion 2)||October 19, 1999||Ariane-44LP||Kourou||15 ° W||SSL-1300||3814 kg|
Telstar 13 (Echostar 9,
Intelsat Americas 13, IA 13
|August 8, 2003||Zenit-3SL||Sea Launch Platform||121 ° W||SSL-1300||4737 kg|
|Telstar 14 (Estrela do Sul 1)||January 11, 2004||Zenit-3SL||Sea Launch Platform||63 ° W||SSL-1300||4694 kg|
|Telstar 18 (APStar 5)||June 29, 2004||Zenit-3SL||Sea Launch Platform||138 ° E||SSL-1300||4640 kg|
Reception in the youth culture of the 1960s
The enthusiasm for the first Telstar satellite was so great that Joe Meek composed an instrumental piece of the same name , which the band The Tornados recorded. The success of this piece was so resounding that the Tornados became the first British band to land a number one hit in the United States.
- Bell System Technical Journal, No. 4, Part 1, July 1963
- Manual dictionary of electrical telecommunications , 2nd edition, 3rd volume; P. 1678
- Image of science: Telstar 1: The age of satellite communication began 40 years ago today
- National Geographic 1962: Telephone a Star (PDF; 8.7 MB)
- NASA: Telstar I, SP-34: Volume 1 (400 pages, 69 MB), Volume 2 (525 pages, 24 MB), Volume 3 (283 pages, 47 MB), Volume 4 (435 pages, 140 MB, all in English )
- Spiegel.de, one day: 50 years of satellite TV, television for international understanding
- How the real-time world came about. In: sueddeutsche.de. July 9, 2012, accessed May 14, 2018 .
- Atomic bombs in space
- Ralph D. Lorenz, David Michael Harland: Space Systems Failures: Disasters and Rescues of Satellites, Rocket and Space Probes . Springer, New York 2005, ISBN 0-387-21519-0 , pp. 388 (English, books.google.com ).
- Telstar II goes back upon the Shelf , in Electronics, October 5, 1962, p. 7
- Gunter's Space Page - Telstar 1 and 2
- Gunter's Space Page - Telstar 3-18