Intelsat 1 F-1, known popularly as Early Bird (above), was the first
communications satellite developed and launched for commercial
use. It was launched on a Delta D rocket from Cape Canaveral,
Florida and positioned in geostationary orbit over the Atlantic. It
had a capacity of 240 telephone links or one television channel.The
satellite was originally Designed to last for 18 months, it was in use
for 3½ years, even being reactivated briefly to celebrate Intelsat’s
20th anniversary in 1984.