In Pictures: Telstar at 50 - The little satellite that launched an industry

50 years ago NASA launched Telstar the world’s first communications satellite

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Radiation damaged Telstar's fragile transistors and it went out of service in December, was temporarily restarted in January but additional transistor failure meant Telstar's last emission was on Feb. 21, 1963. Telstar is still orbiting Earth about every 158 minutes, according to the Embassy of France.

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In Pictures: Telstar at 50 - The little satellite that launched an industry

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