At the end of 1928 the Austro-Hungarian rocket engineer Herman Potočnik(Pseudonym -Hermann Noordung) (Here’s more.) set out a plan for the establishment of a permanent human presence in Earth orbit. He conceived of a space station and was the first to calculate the geostationary orbit at which the station would orbit the Earth and remain in constant contact with the country of origin.
Author Arthur C. Clarke is credited with proposing the notion of using geostationary orbits for communications satellites in 1945. The orbit was coined as the Clarke (But neither Noordung nor Potočnik) Orbit. Together, a collection of artificial satellites in these orbits is called the Clarke Belt. At that time, Clarke believed that human technology was at least 50 years away. He missed by 32 years.
Syncom 2 was the first communications satellite placed in a geosynchronous orbit in 1963. However, it was in an inclined orbit which caused it to wobble north and south, still requiring the use of moving antennas.
Syncom 3 was the first true geostationary communication satellite. It was launched from Cape Canaveral on August 19, 1964 using a Delta D. The satellite in orbit near the International Date Line was used to telecast the 1964 Summer Olympics from Tokyo to the United States.
Geostationary orbits have been in common use ever since, mainly for satellite television.
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