Last week was the 50th anniversary of the first launch of a tellecommunications satellite know as Telstar – July 10th, 1962. For some little boy out in Iowa it was a magic week as pictures from Europe (Telstar was a transatlantic satellite) were bounced up and down and eventually to a little black and white TV in Iowa City. It was one of many space firsts we will be celebrating the 5oth anniversary of this decade. Do you remember anything about Telstar or other such projects of the 60s?
Here we go:
1) There were several collaborative entities that worked together on Telstar. Which one actually owned Telstar?
b) Bell Laboratories
d) The British General Post Office
2) Telstar was roughly spherical in shape and about how large in diameter?
a) 15 inches
b) 35 inches
c) 48 inches
d) 72 inches
3) How much did the satellite weigh?
a) 15 pounds
b) 75 pounds
c) 130 pounds
d) 170 pounds
4) Telstar was not in a geosynchronous orbit, that is it was not rotating at the same speed as the earth. Therefore it actually orbited the earth. For what period of time was it possible to transmit TV pictures?
a) for one hour every other hour
b) for 20 minutes every 2.5 hours
c) for 10 minutes every 3 hours
d) for half an hour every 3 hours
5) The first pictures publicly transmitted by Telstar were supposed to be of President Kennedy having a press conference, but the relay started early. So instead international viewers were treated to what?
a) a baseball game between the Chcago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies
b) A Broadway play
c) some man on the street interviews from New York City.
d) A view from the Washington Monument
6) Whereas Telstar was an active signal relay satellite, two years previous a satellite that bounced signals off it had been put in orbit. What was the name of that satellite?
a) Bounce 1
b) Relay 1
c) Echo 1
d) Sendback 1
7) Alas Telstar was done in by radiation from experimental nuclear testing and what other source of radiation?
a) solar winds
b) The Van Allen Radiation Belt
c) Comet dust from Halley’s Comet
d) magnetic storm on the sun
8) Geosynchronous orbit was achieved by RCA satellite Syncom 3 in time to relay what major world event live?
a) the 1968 Winter Olympics from Grenoble France
b) the 1966 FIFA cup
c) the 1964 Winter Olympics from Innsbruk, Austria
d) the 1964 Summer Olympics from Tokyo, Japan
9) Telstar was stabilized by gyroscopes and powered by solar cells. How much power did the solar cells produce?
a) 1000 watts
b) 100 watts
c) 15 watts
d) 5 watts
10) Well we couldn’t talk about Telstar without mentioning the song of the same name. What band played the #1 hit of 1962, Telstar?
a) the Shadows
b) the Tornados
c) the Ventures
d) the Crickets
I remember there being stage shows from Paris, which meant for a 13 year old boy maybe some – uh – cultural enhancement. But Paris’ reputation was far beyond its delivery. Some other interesting facts – the project was created by a man named John Robinson Pierce born in Des Moines, Iowa! One more note of interest is that even though Telstar finally went dead in early 1963, it is still in orbit as far as anyone knows.
1) a) AT&T – the others all helped with the project
2) b) Telstar was just shy of 35 inches in diameter – pretty small moving target
3) d) the satellite weighed @ 170 pounds
4) b) it could transmit for about 20 minutes every 2.5 hour orbit
5) a) it was quite a surprise to everyone, but a game between the two worst teams in baseball was the backup.
6) c) Echo 1
7) b) radiation from the Van Allen Belt was the major culprit. Most satellites orbit way above Van Allen now.
8) d) the 1964 Olympic games from Tokyo
9) c) about 15 watts
10) b) The Tornados (want to hear it? Here you go!)