Page 41

Frontiers August 2014 Issue

was to launch a fleet of satellites into space to build the first global communications network. Intelsat contracted with NASA to launch the satellites, and private industry to build them—and the connection to Boeing and two of its legacy companies began. The Space and Communications group of Hughes Aircraft built many of the early Intelsat satellites at its facility in El Segundo, Calif. Hughes Space and Communications was acquired by Boeing in 2000 and continues to partner with Intelsat today as Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. Its Satellite Development Center is in El Segundo. Douglas Aircraft, another Boeing heritage company, built the Delta rockets that launched all the early spacecraft; today the Delta heritage continues through the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed. The first Intelsat satellite to be carried aloft was Intelsat I, or Early Bird, on April 6, 1965. Built in the PHOTOS: (From far left) Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. poses for a photo by Neil Armstrong during the lunar landing, the first event transmitted live to a global audience. NASA A crowd gathers around an airport television set in Sydney, Australia, to watch the broadcast of astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon in July 1969. TREVOR DALLEN/FAIRFAX SYNDICATION Frontiers August 2014 41 On July 20, 1969, as Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon, people on Earth were able to watch the historic feat live on television. From more than 238,000 miles (383,000 kilometers) away, Armstrong famously declared his first step on the lunar surface represented a “giant leap” for mankind. But the advances that enabled people to witness the moon walk as it occurred also represented a giant leap in communications satellite technology. The lunar landing marked the first event transmitted live to a global audience, reaching more than 500 million people on six continents. The organization that helped make it happen, the International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium, or Intelsat, may not be readily familiar. But over the years, Intelsat has made it possible to witness firsthand, in real time, history-making events, from Apollo 11 to the Olympics to World Cup soccer. The formation of Intelsat 50 years ago, on Aug. 20, 1964, paved the way for “live via satellite” becoming a reality. And Boeing-built satellites and launch vehicles have been part of that story. The United States and 17 other countries signed the agreement creating Intelsat, whose mission


Frontiers August 2014 Issue
To see the actual publication please follow the link above