Encyclopedia Astronautica
Telstar



telstar.jpg
Telstar
Credit: Sven Grahn
American communications satellite. 2 launches, 1962.07.10 (Telstar 1) and 1963.05.07 (Telstar 2).

The first active-repeater communications satellite, Telstar demonstrated the feasibility of transmitting television images, telephone, telegraph and radio messages on a global basis. Launched by a Delta booster, Telstar first went into orbit on July 10, 1962. Telstar II was orbited on May 7, 1963. Both satellites were highly successful. NASA provided launch vehicles and tracking facilities on a reimbursable basis. Prime Contractor: American Telephone and Telegraph Company, management by Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Gross mass: 78 kg (171 lb).
First Launch: 1962.07.10.
Last Launch: 1963.05.07.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Thor Delta American orbital launch vehicle. Commercial name for the military's Thor-Delta. The name of the Delta second stage eventually was applied to subsequent commercial follow-ons. More...
  • Delta B American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-21 + 1 x AJ10-118A + 1 x Altair More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ATT American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. American Telephone and Telegraph, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Aerospace Yearbook, 1966,

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...

Telstar Chronology


1962 July 10 - . 08:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 316/D11.
  • Telstar 1 - . Mass: 77 kg (169 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Telstar. USAF Sat Cat: 340 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 5,643 km (3,506 mi). Perigee: 945 km (587 mi). Inclination: 44.8000 deg. Period: 157.80 min. Summary: First commercial comsat; active repeater. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1963 May 7 - . 11:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta B. LV Configuration: Thor Delta B 366/D18.
  • Telstar 2 - . Mass: 79 kg (174 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Telstar. USAF Sat Cat: 573 . COSPAR: 1963-013A. Apogee: 10,802 km (6,712 mi). Perigee: 972 km (603 mi). Inclination: 42.7000 deg. Period: 225.30 min. Summary: Active repeater. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

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