|Launch vehicle.||Thor-Delta rocket.|
|Launch date.||July 10, 1962.|
|Launch site.||Cape Canaveral LC-17.|
|Ceased operations.||February 21, 1963. Damaged in the Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test on July 9, 1962. Telstar finally shorted out after 3 months.|
|Owner(s).||NASA (AT&T (US), Bell Telephone Laboratories (US), NASA (US), GPO (UK) and the National PTT (France) had all got corporates stakes in it and usage rights of it as per the project's founding treaty).|
|Major contractor(s).||Bell Telephone Laboratories.|
|Is it still in orbit.||Yes (as of 2013).|
|Nationality(s).||American with Anglo-French technical support.|
|Satellite type.||Communications satellite.|
|Links.||http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telstar and http://roland.lerc.nasa.gov/~dglover/sat/telstar.html .|
The day before Telstar 1 launched, a U.S. high-altitude nuclear bomb (called Starfish Prime) had energized the Earth's Van Allen Belt where Telstar 1 went into orbit. This vast increase in a partly artificial radiation belts, combined with subsequent high-altitude blasts, including a Soviet test in October, overwhelmed Telstar's fragile transistors and shorted some out.
It went out of service in November 1962, after handling over 400 telephone, telegraph, facsimile and television transmissions.
It is to be noted that modern services like Google Maps, hurricane tracking services and satellite TV all owe a debt to these early satellites. It has been replaced by several subsequent new Telstar satellites over the years.