Launched in October 1982, the Satcom Domestic Communications Satellite "Aurora" was designed to provide commercial communications to the state of Alaska.
With its large, rugged land mass and dispersed population, Alaska had special challenges in providing reliable and widely-available communications to its citizens. As satellite technology developed during the 1960s and 1970s, this new mode of communication offered an effective means to meet the needs of the state.
Operating from geostationary orbit, the satellite was the first to be designed and operated for the special circumstances of an individual state. In honor of this distinction, the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce held a competition for school children to name the satellite. The winning submission, from third-grader Nick Francis in Eagle River, Alaska, was "Aurora."
This artifact is a 1:10 scale model of the satellite and was donated by the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and Alascom, Inc., to the Museum in 1983.
Gift of Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and Alascom, Inc.