TOP PAGE > P13 US-Japan Satellite Relay Broadcast and Apollo 11

US-Japan Satellite
Relay Broadcast and
Apollo 11

1957  Soviet Union launches the world's first artificial satellite Sputnik
1962 Communications satellite Telstar launched (successful satellite relay broadcasting experiment across the Atlantic Ocean)
1963 US-Japan satellite relay broadcasting experiment across the Pacific Ocean using satellite relay (reporting assassination of John F. Kennedy) (November)
1964 Geostationary satellite Syncom 3 launched (around-the-clock broadcasting between US and Japan made possible)
1969 Satellite relay broadcast of Apollo 11 and man's first step on the Moon. (July)

Humankind was able to truly understand the Earth as a planet when the first astronaut Yuri Gagarin, upon seeing the Earth from space, said simply, "the Earth is blue." The interconnected nature of a global community existing on one planet was defined by these satellite relay broadcasts that traversed borders and spanned continents. Two dramatic events confirmed this: the shocking assassination of John. F. Kennedy in 1963, and the broadcast from the moon landing in 1969.

1969 Over 600 Million Viewers Share the Experience of Humankind's First Moon Landing

The First US-Japan Satellite Relay Broadcast:
Assassination of President J. F. Kennedy

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, successfully positioning it in the earth's orbit. This event precipitated the space race, with the United States and the Soviet Union going head-to-head.
The first full-scale communications satellite, Telstar, was launched on July 10, 1962. The spherical satellite, equipped with transmitting and receiving systems, weighed just 77 kilograms, and had a diameter of 85 centimeters. On the same day, there was trans-Atlantic TV relay broadcast from the United States to earth stations in France and Britain. In 1963, news of the assassination of President J. F. Kennedy reached the Japanese public at almost the exact same time as reports in the U.S. This was the the first trans-Pacific TV satellite relay broadcast, via Relay1, from the United States to Japan. Shocked by the news, Japanese people felt the dawning of a new era of communication, in which events throughout the world could be instantly reported to people everywhere. The full-scale satellite communications era began with the orbital launch of a geostationary satellite 36,000 kilometers above the equator. The geostationary satellite Syncom 3, launched over the Pacific Ocean in 1964, enabled around-the-clock satellite relay broadcasting between the United States and Japan. The 1964 Summer Olympic Games were broadcast worldwide from Tokyo via Syncom 3 satellite.

Over 600 Million Viewers Share the Experience of Humankind's First Moon Landing

On July 21, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, and its captain, Neil Armstrong, realized the long-held dream of humankind setting foot on the Moon. Images of this historical event were captured with an ultra-small black-and-white TV camera for worldwide broadcast. It is estimated that over 600 million people were listening when Armstrong uttered the famous words: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

The TV medium was what made such a global experience possible. In that historic moment, dawned the realization that humankind was the passenger of "Spaceship Earth".