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Telstar

[tel-stahr] /ˈtɛlˌstɑr/
Trademark.
1.
one of an early series of privately financed, low-orbit, active communications satellites, the first of which was launched July 10, 1962.
2.
one of a later series of privately financed, geosynchronous communications satellites that provide domestic television, telephone, and data exchange transmission to the U.S.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Telstar

Telstar

/ˈtɛlˌstɑː/
noun
1.
either of two low-altitude active communications satellites launched in 1962 and 1963 by the US and used in the transmission of television programmes, telephone messages, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for Telstar

series of communications satellites whose successful launching, beginning in 1962, inaugurated a new age in electronic communications. The first experimental communications satellite was made in 1960 by John Robinson Pierce of Bell Telephone Laboratories in the United States, who seized the opportunity presented by the planned launching of Echo 1 (q.v.), an aluminum-coated balloon satellite. At Pierce's instigation, Echo was equipped to receive telephone signals and reflect them back to Earth. Telstar, a far more sophisticated conception, was designed to amplify a signal received from the ground and to relay it back to another ground station. Weighing only 77 kg (170 pounds), it was powered by nickel-cadmium batteries, recharged by 3,600 solar cells, and contained more than 1,000 transistors. Its heart was a traveling-wave tube capable on its own of amplifying signals 10,000 times, and far more with the aid of other components. Following Telstar's launch on July 10, 1962, a giant movable horn antenna near Andover, Maine, locked onto the satellite when its shifting orbit (apogee 5,600 km [3,500 miles]) reached an appropriate point. Minutes later the first television pictures were transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean and received, via relay stations in England and France, on European television screens. Telephone, telegraph, data, telephoto, and facsimile transmissions were also successfully made.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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