1st radio broadcast transmitted from space, December 19, 1958
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.
- Sputnik 1 launches, October 4, 1957
- Eisenhower moves to expand US nuclear weapons, October 30, 1953
- First educational satellite launches, May 30, 1974
Editor's note: This article was originally posted on December 19, 2012 and edited on December 19, 2016.