Alouette I Satellite

The Alouette I satellite was not only Canada’s first satellite, but was the first in the world designed and built entirely by a country other than the United States or the former USSR. It did have to ride a US rocket to get into orbit, though, and on September 29, 1962 it made a little bit of Canadian history.

Ultimately it opened the door for a lot of history. The Alouette I and II allowed Canadian researchers to study the earth’s atmosphere and upper ionosphere in an effort to understand radio communications, something other countries were not as interested in. This led to the realization that satellite communications would be the best way to provide a communications infrastructure for all of Canada. Ten years later the Anik 1 made Canada the first country to have a domestic geostationary communications satellite system (Anik was unfortunately built in the US).

In 1987 the Alouette I was selected as one of the ten greatest achievements in Canadian engineering in the past century.

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