1957, October 4: Sputnik I is launched into orbit (followed by Sputnik II on 3 November, with the dog "Laika" on board).

1958, February 7: President Dwight Eisenhower approves a CIA program to develop a reconnaissance satellite.

1960: launch of CORONA - first photo reconnaissance satellite.

CORONA project: The first successful photographs from space were taken on 18 August 1960 by the KH-1 system and the last of the imagery of this collection was acquired on 31 May 1972 by the KH-4B system. More than 860'000 images have been recorded.

1961: launch of SAMOS - second generation photo satellite. "Les images sont traitées à bord de l'appareil et transmises au sol par ondes."

December 12, 1961: Launch of OSCAR-1, the first amateur satellite. Despite being in orbit only 22 days OSCAR-1 was an immediate success with over 570 amateur radio operators in 28 countries forwarding observations to Project OSCAR.

1965: 6 April: Early Bird (Intelsat I) is launched into synchronous orbit. This is the world's first commercial communications satellite and "live via satellite" is born. On June 28, Early Bird begins providing television and voice services. Officials in the United States and Europe exchange greetings in a transatlantic ceremony introducing the new service.

1967: 26 January: Commercial satellite service between the United States and Japan is established, with live television coverage in both countries.

1968: launch of CANYON - first US Comint satellite.

1972: launch of RHYOLITE - an "orbiting laboratory in miniature".

1973: Elvis Presley: Aloha From Hawaii via satellite - First music concert broadcast live via satellite around the world.

1976: launch of KH-11 - low-flying satellite.

1977: first live international satellite telecast by artists, transmitted from Documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany. Participants include Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys and Douglas Davis ("The last nine minutes").

1979-1980: Stan VanDerBeek is artist-in-residence at NASA, where he tries to realise a satellite based Cinema distribution system which he called Culture Intercom.

Communication Art
Pirate Television

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