Cape Canaveral, Florida (JFK+50) Fifty years ago today, May 2, 1965, Intelsat I, a.k.a. Early Bird, the first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit, transmitted the first television pictures across the Atlantic Ocean.
Intelsat I had been launched from the Space Center here at Cape Canaveral on April 6, 1965. The satellite, weighing in at 76 pounds, was built by Hughes Aircraft Corporation.
Intelsat I was used also to transmit telephone and telefacsimile signals. The satellite was in service for four years and deactivated in January 1969.
President John F. Kennedy signed the Communications Satellite Act on August 31, 1962. This legislation set the goal of establishing a satellite system in cooperation with other nations.
INTELSAT, International Telecommunication Satellite Consortium, was established on August 20, 1964. INTELSAT transmitted images of Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon to millions of people around the world on July 20, 1969.
INTELSAT has offices in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Singapore, South Africa, UAE, UK and USA.