From the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Brussels, Belgium, comes film of the preparatory tests and the launching of their first Communications Satellite (COMSAT I) in March 1970.
From the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Brussels, Belgium, comes film of the preparatory tests and the launching of their first Communications Satellite (COMSAT I) in March 1970. The release is made to anticipate the launching on February 2nd of COMSAT II from Cape Kennedy.
The COMSAT project is estimated to cost 50 million dollars (nearly 20,850,000 pounds sterling), and is financed jointly by the fifteen participating NATO member nations--Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France. West Germany, Greece. Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.
When the rocket carrying COMSAT I lifted off from Cape Kennedy on March 20th, 1970, it was heralded as the start of a "vital and unique" network which will enable people thousands of miles apart to confer, confidentially, as if they were in the same room, the U.S. Secretary of Defence could sit at his desk in the Pentagon and discuss simultaneously with a NATO General in the Southern Europe Command in Naples and with the entire NATO Council seated in the Situation Centre at Brussels headquarters--the system is tailored to the requirements of such top secret conferences as these, and security is considered to have been planned to a high degree of invulnerability through jam-resistance and cryptography. The network is also said to add speed to supplying hook-ups between integrated Commands and national operation centres. And, by allowing members of distant governments to sit in on certain NATO council meetings, it will give a new dimension to political consultation.