1st radio broadcast transmitted from space, December 19, 1958

-December 19, 2016

The first radio broadcast from space was transmitted to Earth on December 19, 1958, when President Eisenhower's Christmas message went out via short wave frequency.

In the pre-recorded message, which you can listen to here, the president wished for peace on Earth:

"This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circling in outer space. Through this unique means I convey to you, and to all mankind, America's wish for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men everywhere."

The recorder failed on the satellite's first orbit, but on the second pass the message was successfully transmitted using the backup recorder.

The broadcast was from the US Army's Project SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) communications satellite, which was launched from Cape Canaveral on December 18. The satellite was launched to compete with the Russians, who put Sputnik 1 and 2 into orbit more than a year earlier. After 12 days in space the batteries failed and the satellite burned up upon reentering Earth's atmosphere on January 21, 1959.

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For more moments in tech history, see this blog. EDN strives to be historically accurate with these postings. Should you see an error, please notify us.

Editor's note: This article was originally posted on December 19, 2012 and edited on December 19, 2016.


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