In our peaceful summer town of Andover, Maine, (pop. 800), the casual observer might think that nothing much had ever happened or would happen other than the usual forest and agricultural work that has sustained its economy for over two centuries. However, the reality is very different.
For example, a half-century ago Andover was at the center of advances foundational to modern global telecommunications as the American hub of the first trans-Atlantic satellite communications system, called Telstar. Telstar was a public-private joint venture between the Bell System that controlled all of America’s private telecom — and especially its Bell Labs subsidiary, the then-equivalent of Apple, Google and Microsoft combined in innovative firepower — and our federal government through NASA (for the satellite’s rocketry, NASA’s first privately sponsored launch) and the FCC.