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Marconi Museum

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In 1945 Arthur Clarke, one of the most renowned science fiction writers (author also of 2001: A Space Odyssey), was still a young English physicist: he published an article, relatively unnoticed, in which he hypothesized the possibility of launching a “geostationary” satellite, that is to say one that revolves at the same velocity of the earth and thus in a stable position with respect to the planet, and to make of this satellite an instrument for telecommunications, obviously via radio, at long-distance.

In 1962 the first satellite for intercontinental telecommunications was launched: the Telstar, which guaranteed both television broadcasts between Europe and America as well as a continental telephone channel in alternative to the costly and unsafe underwater cables. By 1966 a system of three geostationary satellites was in place, capable of connecting all continents and allowing for a simultaneous “worldwide vision”. Beginning in the early Seventies, some countries with vaster territories, first and foremost USA and USSR, introduced the use of the satellite to simultaneously transmit the same television signal in areas that were very distant from one to the other.

By mid decade, broadcasts via satellite began and they were received by homes with special antennas (parabolic satellite dishes); today the satellite is, with the traditional broadcasting systems via air and via cable, the third channel for diffusing television signals.

Beginning in the Eighties, the use of satellites for telecommunications noticeably increased, thanks also to the growing request on the one hand of instruments for managing global telephone traffic, on the other of instruments for real time monitoring of vehicles in motion.


















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