Early Bird

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The first US commercial communications satellite, launched over the Atlantic Ocean in 1965 by Intelsat. On 2 May of that year, the satellite transmitted the first television pictures across the Atlantic, linking nine nations. It became a fully commercial server in June 1965 and was retired in March 1969. Early Bird had 240 circuits for telephone calls or television programmes.

A remote-sensing satellite also named Early Bird was launched in 1997 by a Russian rocket for the international conservation organization Earthwatch Inc., but failed after five days.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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