6 April 1965
Intelsat 1 F-1, known popularly as Early Bird, was the first communications satellite developed and launched for commercial use. It was launched on a Delta D rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida and positioned in geostationary orbit over the Atlantic. It was 59cm long and 72cm in diameter, weighing 39kg, and had a capacity of 240 telephone links or one television channel. Designed to last for 18 months, it was in use for 3½ years, even being reactivated briefly to celebrate Intelsat's 20th anniversary in 1984.
Page updated 28 July 2008