NASA scientists and researchers ask, "Can you hear us now?"

roryanne muldrake By roryanne muldrake, 29th Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Technology

One of the many benefits of NASA technology; communication. Other benefits include advances in technology in scientific, medical, and agricultural areas.

Can you imagine a world without cell phones?

NASA and communications satellite services are responsible for the one thing we cannot leave the house without every day. We can talk to someone a block away or a continent away with the same clarity, scope, and reliability of our long-distance service provider, because of technology developed by NASA nearly forty years in the making.

With the launching of probes and unmanned spacecraft proving the long life of spacecraft in orbit, NASA researchers and scientists began to develop commercial communications satellite services.

NASA launched several communications satellites into orbit in 1967.

• Pacifica 1 - trans-Pacific communication service - January
• Atlantic 2 - orbit over the Atlantic - March
• Application Technology Satellite, or ATS - November of 1967.

The ATS carried experiments in space navigation and aircraft communications and guidance.

The commercial capacity doubled with the communications satellites launched in 1967.

NASA's plan over the following two years, was to produce over 5,000 telephonic circuits between the US and Europe.

By 1968, communications satellites became useful for many things, including revolutionizing military operations, routing air traffic and even ground traffic.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center used the ATS 3 satellite to track a specially equipped automobile going along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The same satellite located a boat in Chesapeake Bay, as well as an airplane in flight.

In December of 1968, NASA launched the Intelsat. It was the first of several new satellites NASA envisioned would bring commercial communications to almost the entire world, in only 6 months time.

NASA used the Intelsat to relay telephone and television messages. NASA's Space Age turned into the digital age we now live in.

Therefore, the next time you watch your favorite television show on your big screen TV, or the next time you send a text message to your friend, remember the hard work and years of research that went into the development of the technology.

In addition, when you compare how far we have come since the 1960's, imagine how much further we can go in the future.

NASA Trivia - Satellites and Communications Satellites

January 31, 1958
First satellite launched by U.S. Explorer 1

August 12, 1960
Echo I - NASA's first passive communications satellite

February 14, 1963
Syncom I First test of a communication satellite in geosynchronous orbit

December 21, 1968
Apollo 8 First audio-video communication from lunar distance

November 8, 1984
STS 51A First retrieval and return of satellites from Earth orbit

March 22, 1985
Intelsat V-A F-10 First in a series of improved commercial communication satellites for Intelsat

November 11, 1982
STS 5 First deployment of two commercial communications satellites

May 7, 1992
STS 49 First time astronauts attached live rocket motor to orbiting satellite


Cell Phones, Communications, Nasa, Satellites, Space, Technology

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author avatar roryanne muldrake
published writer; now working at home; currently writing for Helium and Examiner

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11th Feb 2011 (#)


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