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Ouch! The 1960s

The Intelsat 1 “Early Bird” communications satellite, built by Hughes Aircraft Co., was able to relay 240 simultaneous phone conversations between Europe and North America.

From This Is What Broadband Satellite Communication Looked Like in 1965

The Intelsat 1 “Early Bird” communications satellite, built by Hughes Aircraft Co., was able to relay 240 simultaneous phone conversations between Europe and North America. But having all 240 lines apparently originate in one room in Los Angeles, as this Hughes publicity shot seems to suggest, would undoubtedly have created a slight bottleneck.

Intelsat 1 was the world’s first commercial communications satellite. Launched in 1965, it was placed into geosynchronous orbit above the Atlantic Ocean, where it remained operational for four years. In addition to carrying 240 voice transmissions, the satellite could relay telegrams, television signals, and whatever the 1965 equivalent of “high-speed data” was; however, it could do only one of those things at a time. Intelsat 1 was briefly reactivated in 1990 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. It’s still orbiting, inactive, presumably waiting for its 125th.

Question: What did Intelsat-1 do in 1990 for its 25th anniversary brief reactivation? Could it be reactivated again? Is there a secret code necessary to do this?

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    $\begingroup$ I keep seeing incomplete information on this satellite. It looks like it was reactivated in 1984 to celebrate ITSO's 20th anniversary. And then again in 1990 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. All the sources I've come across say that after 1980 it was only reactivated once. They pick either 1984 or 1990. I think it was reactivated twice after 1980. $\endgroup$ Sep 12 at 22:03
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    $\begingroup$ "is there a secret code..." y'all are just begging for MIB and TopGun references! OK, srsly, I'm sure there is an access "code" sequence to communicate w/ Intelsat, and I rather doubt it's intended for public knowledge. $\endgroup$ Sep 13 at 16:06
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    $\begingroup$ @SpaceDisgrace I see lots of people repeating the "brief activation" phrase, but no-one actually sourcing it as such. Nothing even remotely "official" looking says anything about any reactivation after 1969. The whole thing seems apocryphal. $\endgroup$ Sep 15 at 13:17

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