Today in 1962, the Telstar 1 satellite was launched into space. It was a joint effort between NASA, AT&T, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Britain’s General Post Office, and France’s National PPT (now Orange S.A.) and was the first privately sponsored space launch. It was the first publicly available live transatlantic television signal to be broadcast. Among those to appear on the broadcast were Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, Richard Dimbleby, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and a short segment of a Phillies-Cubs baseball game. It also relayed the first satellite telephone call, which was between U.S. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson and AT&T Chairman Frederick Kappel. Although Telstar 1 went out of service in February 1963, it continues to orbit Earth.
Image Credit: NASA