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The Early Bird communications satellite is a commercial venture owned by a consortium of 52 countries. The system uses one spin stabilized synchronous satellite and five earth stations to provide a full-time microwave link between North America and Europe for 240 telephone circuits or for television. The 85-pound spacecraft was launched from Cape Kennedy on April 6, 1965, by NASA, using Thrust Augmented Delta Number 30. The launch sequence and subsequent maneuvers resulted in a circular synchronous orbit requiring no correction for seven months. The operational experience gained with this experimental/operational system has demonstrated satisfactory spacecraft performance characteristics and proven that synchronous communication satellites provide high quality links for telephone service.