Space History Photo: Satcom, Communication Satellite

space history, nasa, satellites
Joel Bacher, an RCA engineer, adjusts a propulsion thruster on a communication satellite. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, RCA engineer, Joel Bacher, adjusts a propulsion thruster on a communication satellite. The thrusters were designed to enable the spacecraft to maintain correct altitude control after it had achieved a 22,000-mile synchronous orbit over Earth.

The satellite shown is an RCA Satcom domestic communication satellite that was launched December 13, 1975. The satellite was built by RCA Global Communication, Inc. and RCA Alaska Communications, Inc. This domestic communication satellite spurred the cable television industry to unprecedented heights with the assistance of a company known as Home Box Office (HBO). Cable television networks relay signals to ground-based stations using satellites. This allowed cable television to enter into the suburban and metropolitan markets, thus causing HBO to accumulate 1.6 million subscribers by the end of 1977.

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: