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Artificial satellites, Astronautics, History

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SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN, Satellites and the Beginning of the Space Age
Copyright for the book, including research notes, Copernicus/Springer Verlag (New York)

History of artificial satellites
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-tional capability within the next 12 to 24 months... I regard the proposed program as complementary to those [Relay and rebound (Echo-type satellites)] and the Advent project...You have my assurance of support in the event that, in your judgement, their proposals should be adopted." With this letter, Gilpatric set aside the informal agreement that NASA would not develop synchronous-altitude satellites.

Memo from A.S.Jerrems to J.H.Richardson, Allen Puckett, and R.E.Wendahl of July 20, 1961, on the possibility of an early synchronous-orbit experiment. HAC still did not know that both NASA and the DoD were proposing a sole-source contract. After dinner and talks with Rubel, Jerrems wrote. "Although the proposed five week study program for Hughes, which Rubel and Seamans described to us at the end of June, has not yet been kicked off as we hoped it would be, the planning for the Special Program is not quiescent. There have been a continuing series of meetings between NASA and the DoD to iron out the definition of the ground roles for HAC."

On August 9, 1961, Alton Jones, project manager at the Goddard Space Flight Center and James McNaul, acting project manager for the U.S. Army Advent Management Agency, signed a contract to be jointly pursued by NASA and the DoD for the preliminary project development plan for a light weight, spin-stabilized communication satellite.

On August 12, 1961, Maj.Gen.G.W.Power, director of developments in the Office of the Chief of Research and Development, wrote to Rosen rejecting his ideas for a light weight, spin-stabilized communication satellite.

Bell System was well aware of the promise of communication satellites at synchronous altitudes and also aware of the station-keeping difficulties. In a paper written in November 1962, K.G.McKay wrote an internal paper on the pros and cons of synchronous satellites. He wrote, "The synchronous satellite must be placed at a specific point in space with exactly the right velocity and kept there for the life of the satellite. It is a bold concept and I am confident that some day it will be achieved" (box 840902 - AT&T archives).


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Page text content checked against original in print by HG on 2nd May, 2013.

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