/in tel"sat', in"tel-/, n.
1. a global communications satellite network under international control.
2. a communications satellite launched by this organization.
[1965-70; In(ternational) Tel(ecommunications) Sat(ellite Organization)]

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abbreviation  of International Telecommunications Satellite Organization,  also called  (1964–73) International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium,  

      organization founded in 1964 by the telecommunication agencies of 18 nations, including the United States, which proposed the organization. Intelsat owns communications satellites and the ground stations from which they are controlled, but the transmitting and receiving apparatus in each country is owned by the Intelsat member from that country. Within several years the membership of Intelsat had grown to include agencies from most of the nations of the world.

      The consortium contracted with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to launch its satellites. The first of these was Early Bird, later renamed Intelsat 1, which was placed in a stationary orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator in 1965. Within a few years, other members of the Intelsat series were orbited over the Pacific and Indian oceans, establishing a commercial telecommunication system accessible from any place on the surface of the Earth.

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Universalium. 2010.

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