Unless you were lucky enough to get your hands on a coveted London 2012 Olympics ticket, it’s likely you’ll be watching Usain Bolt from the comfort of your living room. This is all made possible by satellites which have beamed some of the most important moments in history to our homes. This year marks 50 years since the first image was beamed through space and back to earth again via satellite.
In 1962 satellite TV itself was making the headlines, with the launch of Telstar from Cape Canaveral, USA. Once in orbit it began to transmit pictures which found their way to Plemeur Bodou on the coast of Brittany. The first ever moving image to be broadcast by satellite across the Atlantic was a shot of the American flag. The next day the French engineers responded with their favourite crooner Yves Montand. Things have moved on since then, and nowadays it is breaking news stories and global sports events which are most frequently beamed live into space and back into our homes.