Collection Item Summary:
In the 1960s, communications satellites emerged as a new, effective means to transmit telephone and television signals over great geographical distances. This capability became one of the signature accomplishments of the space age, highlighting the practical, everyday benefits of spaceflight. Through the 1970s and 1980s use of these satellites rapidly increased, serving the needs of individual nations and international communications.
As prominent symbols of technical advance, communications satellites often were celebrated in poster art. The works frequently used a similar formula, combining cultural symbols, images of the satellite, and an overhead view of the Earth to reinforce pictorially the importance of space technologies in national or international life.
This poster is of INTELSAT VI, a satellite launched in 1983. In contrast, to individual national satellite programs, Intelsat, formed in 1964, was an international consortia aimed at making satellite communications broadly available. When INTELSAT VI became operational, more than 100 countries were members. The satellite was built by Hughes Space and Communications Company, which commissioned the poster.
Donated by Liz Scoggins to the Museum in 2012.