Thirty-five years ago, the former Soviet Union was the first to transmit the central TV signal via an artificial satellite of the Earth.
According to the press service of the Kosmicheskaya Svyaz (Space Communication) enterprise, the first space communications centre was built 20 km from Moscow. It was this station that on November 2nd 1967 started transmitting TV signal broadcast from Ostankino to other regions via the Molnia-1 satellite.
That was first step which triggered a rapid development of satellite communications. On October 20th 1967, the Molnia-1 started broadcasting TV and radio programmes within the Orbita system.
The Soviet Union was the first country to use satellites on high elliptical orbits for communication and broadcasting purposes thus establishing a direct TV broadcasting. In 1965, the Soviet Union put to operation a system of the Molnia-type satellites on the high elliptical orbit. In 1976, the country launched the Ekran-M satellite - the world's first TV-broadcasting geosyncronous satellite.
The 1990s marked the beginning of a new stage of satellite communication and broadcasting in Russia, whose hallmark was the use of not only foreign-made re-transmitting equipment, but also of the best Russian-made instrument-making technologies.
The programme to renew the national satellite group, which was adopted in 2002, envisages that five new-generation Express-AM communication and TV-broadcasting satellites with advanced characteristics will be produced and delivered to a geosyncronous orbit within the next 5 years. This programme is expected to preserve Russia's orbital potential and to considerably improve the capabilities of the Russian TV.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now