October 1995 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Arthur C. Clarke's famous article in Wireless World proposing the use of satellites placed in geosynchronous orbit for worldwide communications relay. The article proved prophetic, for it heralded the modern era of telecommunications. Beginning in the early 1960s, several series of satellites were launched into Earth's orbit; collectively they transformed the latter twentieth century, creating a global village of instantaneous communications. Previously, the ionosphere had defined the limits of radio communication; today, by going beyond the ionosphere, broadband telecommunication has entered a new age. This book describes the first attempts to go beyond the ionosphere, including both the earliest uses of the Moon as a passive, natural relay satellite and Project Echo, the massive inflated satellite off which Earth stations bounced radio signals, as well as contemporary communications via active-repeater artificial moons in orbit about the Earth. It analyzes both American and foreign satellite communications, the histories of several satellite communications companies, the roles of government agencies, and the contribution of research laboratories. The book is a collection of papers originally presented during an international symposium held in Washington, D.C., at the time of the fiftieth anniversary of Clarke's 1945 article. Contributions from historians and other scholars from throughout the world present a stimulating analysis of one of the most important global technologies at work today-and how it originated and evolved.