Science: Telstar's Triumph

The rocket itself was a familiar bird; duplicates had blasted into space many times before. But the payload that the reliable Delta tossed into orbit last week was an astonishing piece of equipment. Built by private industry, fired aloft by the U.S. Government, the Bell Telephone Laboratories' little Telstar satellite (3-ft. diameter) opened a bright new era of long-distance communication. Very-high-frequency radio and TV stations, which are limited to line-of-sight range, suddenly saw their future reach out beyond the horizon, around the curve of the earth.

From the Sky. Although it was only...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!