50th anniversary of Norwegian satcom

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50th anniversary of Norwegian satcom


Category: Culture / Lifestyle

Norway’s era of satellite communications began on May 17, 1968, with a ping from ESRO.

A maxim in economic history holds that “Never in history has man successfully invented a device, an instrument, a machine, or a structure without creating a demand for performance far beyond the capacity of the original design.” This is particularly true of Norwegian satellite communications, the story of which began on the 17th of May 1968, with the first reception of a signal sent by the European Space Research Organization (ESRO) 2B astrophysical research satellite at the Tromsø Telemetry Station (TTS).

At the time, satellite communications was a scientifically well-founded yet less-proven concept. It had first been proposed in 1929 in a small monograph in German by Hermann Nordung, a pseudonym of Captain Potocnik of the old Austrian Imperial Army. In 1945, sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke made it more widely known in English in an article in the October issue of Wireless World. In 1962, the Telstar satellite relayed the first public television signals across the Atlantic from Europe to North America, and in 1963, Intelsat I, the first commercial communications satellite, was launched into geosynchronous orbit*.

ESRO was founded in 1964 to pursue scientific research in space. In turn, in 1965 in Norway, TTS was proposed as an earth station dedicated to receiving signals from satellites and sounding rockets** and specifically built to be ready in time for the launch of the ESRO 2B satellite. In January 1968, TTS was operational and ready for the ESRO 2B polar orbit satellite launch. Four months later, the first signal from it was received at TTS.

Read the full story HERE.

Source: Norwegian American