The National Air and Space Museum's Space History and Education divisions, in collaboration with the French Embassy, will host a symposium to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Telstar satellite, representing the birth of global telecommunications.
The symposium will be presented in two parts. The first is a half-hour satellite television connection between the Museum and the Pleumeur-Bodou Telecommunications Museum in France to commemorate the first global transmission of a television signal. Speakers include Secretary of the Smithsonian Wayne Clough and French Ambassador to the United States François Delattre.
The second part of the symposium features three sessions, with historians and experts from industry and government, discussing major aspects of the Telstar project and its impact on the development of global communications. The event also will include footage from the original 1962 broadcast.
Telstar 1 launched on July 10, 1962 from Cape Canaveral and was the first privately sponsored spacefaring mission. It handled a variety of transmissions, including telephone, fax, data, still pictures, and television signals, from several locations across the United States and Europe.
Additional information on the program and the history of Telstar, is available on a website developed by the Embassy of France.
Support for this program was provided by Intelsat and France Telecom-Orange.