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Harold Rosen, Satellite Communications Pioneer, Gets Life Achievement Award

Washington. Boeing satellite pioneer Harold A. Rosen, whose work helped make possible the global broadband communications that shapes modern society, has received a lifetime achievement award from Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine March 6. Rosen, known as the “father of the geostationary satellite,” led the team that developed the groundbreaking Syncom satellite. Launched in July 1963, Syncom conclusively demonstrated the practicality of geosynchronous orbit.

That resulted in the adoption of the geostationary orbit and led to satellites for Communication Satellite System (Comsat) and Intelsat, which advanced international and transoceanic telephone, television and data transmissions via satellite.

“With each successful use of space-based technology, this new industry’s focus expanded to include scientific, exploratory, intelligence and imagery gathering, in addition to commercial telecommunications,” Rosen said. “It was more than the sky being the limit, because in space there is no limit.”

Rosen, who began his career with Boeing legacy company Hughes in 1956, eventually directed the development of more than 150 communications satellites before retiring in 1993. He serves today as a Boeing consultant. Rosen has won numerous awards and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2003. He received the National Academy of Engineering’s Draper Prize in1995, the National Medal of Technology in 1985, the Communications and Computing Prize from NEC in 1985, the 1982 Alexander Graham Bell Medal and the 1976 Ericsson International Prize in Communications.

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