NPR's Tune In To 'Up All Night' For The Story Of Daniel Schorr And The Birth Of CNN includes the following about the beginnings of Cable News Network

On CNN's rocky debut:

There were so many obstacles. A satellite went missing. [Avid sailor] Ted went missing at sea. He couldn't necessarily raise the money that was necessary.

Question: What "missing satellite" was part of the story of CNN's debut? Was it a communications satellite? Did it really go missing?


1 Answer 1


Satcom 3

In fairly rapid succession, two Japanese communication satellites, Ayame I and II, and the RCA SATCOM III spacecraft failed during the firing sequence of the Apogee Kick Motor (AKM) in such a manner as to suggest a single common casual (sic) failure mode. Individual reviews of these three flights have all focused on the failure of the AKM as the single most probable event leading to the nonsuccess of the mission.


Despite sophisticated tracking systems, the satellite was never located and its fate remains unknown.

Source: 1981 UPI Article

Update: see this answer for its actual fate (determined after the UPI article was written): https://space.stackexchange.com/a/44790/6944

The Cable News Network was intended to be distributed on RCA's new Satcom 3, which was lost on its launch date of December 7, 1979.

Source - wikipedia "history of cnn"

Source: New York Times RCA Loses Contact with New Satellite


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.