On July 10, 1962, the communications satellite Telstar 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to beam live television from Europe to the United States. This was the first privately sponsored space-faring mission.
Two days after the launch, Telstar 1 transmitted the world’s first transatlantic television signal. This demonstrated that transmitting information via satellite was feasible.
Telstar transmitted images of President John F. Kennedy, singer Yves Montand from France, sporting events, Mount Rushmore, and the American flag waving. The satellite was only operational until November of 1962. In that time, it assisted over 400 telephone, facsimile, telegraph, and television transmissions.
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Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.