Saturday, May 26, 2012

CTS Hermes

I got this poster back in the 1970's.  Below, it is shown folded up, then unfolded to reveal the communications satellite that is clearly intended to represent how it enables people to stay in contact although separated by a great distance.

The helpful folks at Telesat were able to identify the satellite as the Communications Technology Satellite (CTS) Hermes.  This was a joint effort of the Canadian Department of Communications (who designed and built it), NASA (who launched it) and the European Space Agency who provided the solar panels and other equipment.  It was launched in January 1976, with the goal of broadcasting TV signals to homes equipped with small antennas.  It was the first satellite to operate in the Ku band.  At the time of its launch, it was the most powerful communications satellite in orbit.  Contact with the satellite was lost in November 1979. 

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