Joseph V. Charyk

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Management

For employment of the concept of the geosynchronous communications satellite systems as the basis for a global telecommunications system, established by international agreement, and for his guidance in the development and growth of the intelsat system, which today services over 150 nations and territories.

For employment of the concept of the geosynchronous communications satellite systems as the basis for a global telecommunications system, established by international agreement, and for his guidance in the development and growth of the intelsat system, which today services over 150 nations and territories.

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Birth
September 9, 1920
Age Awarded
67
Country of Birth
Canada
Key Contributions
GPS
Intelsat
CORONA
Awarded by
Ronald Wilson Reagan
Education
University of Alberta
California Institute of Technology
Areas of Impact
Transportation
Communication & Information
Affiliations
Communications Satellite Corporation
J

Joseph V. Charyk is widely credited as the founder of the geosynchronous communications satellite industry—satellites that remain in a stationary orbit around Earth. He fought skepticism that this untested technology would not work for voice transmission because of a half-second time delay.

Charyk raised funds to support a new industry of telecommunications satellites, and enlisted the cooperation of countries around the world. His efforts launched a global system that laid the groundwork for the geosynchronous communications satellite systems we rely on for global communications., television broadcasting, weather forecasting and defense.

Charyk also brought the first United States imagery satellite, CORONA, into operation and demonstrated signals intelligence technology from space. The CORONA satellites played an important role during the Cold War, and were used for photographic surveillance and reconnaissance. 

By Jen Santisi

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