American Satellite Corporation

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American Satellite Corporation
Partnership with Continental Telephone
Industry Satellite
Founded 1972
Products Satellite television
Parent Fairchild Industries

American Satellite Corporation (ASC) was one of many Fairchild Industries subsidiary companies, and was established in partnership with Continental Telephone[1] in 1972.[2] Emanuel Fthenakis was the President and Chief Executive Officer upon the founding of the corporation.[1] He was replaced in 1976 by Harry Dornbrand,[3] who was President of Fairchild Space and Electronics division at the time. Under their leadership ASC pioneered advancements in satellite broadcasting both domestically and abroad.

In June 1973 ASC became the first company to transmit United States domestic television via satellite.[4] The first broadcast was of an address by then Speaker of the House Carl Albert delivered in Washington D.C. and sent to the National Cable Television Association convention in Anaheim, California.[4] On the same day, they became the first company to broadcast a major sports event via satellite: the fight between Jimmy Ellis and Ernie Shavers in Madison Square Garden.[4]

ASC was headquartered in Rockville, Maryland and had 4 Earth stations located in:

SFES - San Francisco, CA (Benicia), LAES - Los Angeles, CA (Nuevo), DAES - Dallas, TX, NYES - New York, NY

In 1976 ASC began commercially delivering the Wall Street Journal via satellite.[5]

ASC contributed to Department of Defense communications systems and built the first digital satellite route from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland via a land base in California.[6] The corporation also invented a shipboard antenna that could connect military vessels to satellite communications despite the pitch and yaw motion of the ship.[7]

By 1978 ASC "established the first wideband digital data transmission service via domestic satellite for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program".[8] 1984 saw the corporation control the largest U.S. transceiver satellite communications network.


  1. ^ a b "American Satellite Moving To Establish Early Service". Fairchild World. 9 (11). November 1972. 
  2. ^ "Fairchild Industries, Inc. Collection" (PDF). Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Executive Corner". Computerworld: 48. Jan 17, 1977. 
  4. ^ a b c "American Satellite Scores Historic First". Fairchild World. 11 (7): 1. July 1973. 
  5. ^ "ASC Delivers the Journal". Fairchild World. 13 (1): 1, 6. January 1976. 
  6. ^ "ASC Link to Reach Hawaii". Fairchild World. 13 (12): 2. December 1976. 
  7. ^ "American Satellite Praised For Shipboard Antenna". Fairchild World. 13 (12): 2. December 1976. 
  8. ^ Harrigan, Kathryn (Jan 1, 1985). Joint Ventures, Alliances, and Corporate Strategy. Beard Books. p. 197.