Photostory #327: Canadian Highlights of 1962: "Alouette" Sings Loud and Clear
National Film Board of Canada
December 28, 1962
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Flashing across the zenith of international space technology in 1962, Canada's Alouette satellite is winning scientific fame. Despite the punishment of blast-off atop a U.S. launch rocket last September 28 its delicate engineering and intricate electronics are still operating perfectly. Already Alouette has recorded enough information to fill 400 miles of magnetic tape. Canada's man made moon has orbited 1,200 times, travelled 35,000,000 miles, focussed a new searchlight on the outermost reaches of our world -- the mysterious ionosphere. Functioning beyond the dreams of its Defence Research Board creators the Alouette is the first satellite in the international Topside Sounder Program. From world-wide telemetry stations operated by the U.S., Great Britain and Canada, incoming data is fed to a processing centre in Ottawa. Results will be made freely available to scientists of all nations. Its solar-powered voice as strong as ever, Canada's complex contribution to world science is expected to keep transmitting for many months. For centuries to come, Alouette will sweep around the earth, a reminder to generations of unborn of the role Canada played in the dawn of the space-science age.