[xi] This volume originated several years ago out of the growing interest in communications satellites and their beginnings-an interest that had been sparked by my research into the history of radar astronomy. The two, I discovered, had much in common. I then met a pair of George Washington University graduate students who were preparing, or thinking of preparing, doctoral theses on the history of satellite communications. We decided to do something-initially undefined, though perhaps a conference session-on the subject sometime in the near future.
Like the proverbial "best laid plans of mice and men," this plan went astray, but in a good direction-namely, an entire conference on the development of satellite communications. That conference would not have taken place, however, were it not for the generosity of Roger D. Launius, NASA Chief Historian, and the NASA History Office. Dr. Launius made available the NASA Headquarters auditorium and the History Office staff, as well as a small stipend to cover limited expenses. Without his continuing support, the conference-and this volume- would not have come to existence. It was, moreover, a pleasure to work with DR. Launius and with the entire History Office staff. In particular, the diligent service of Nadine J. Andreassen was above and beyond the call of duty.
I also want to thank those who served as session moderators during the conference: Sylvia K. Kraemer, senior policy analyst in the Office of Policy and Plans at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and former NASA Chief Historian; John Krige, formerly of the European Space Agency History Project, European University Institute, Florence, and currently director, Center for Research in the History of Science and Technology, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Paris; Pamela E. Mack, Professor of History, Clemson University; and Joseph N. Tatarewicz, Professor of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Thanks, too, go to John V. Evans, Vice President and Director of Comsat Laboratories, and Michael Onufry for arranging the tour of Comsat Labs. Finally, appreciation is deserved by those who helped in the editing and composition of this volume: Janie Penn, Michael Crnkovic, Patricia Lutkenhouse Talbert, Jonathan L. Friedman, and Stanley Artis.
Andrew J. Butrica, Editor