The USS Hancock (CVA-19)

The USS Hancock (CVA-19) was the subject for the first official photograph to be transmitted by radio facsimile via moon-bounce.

  • In 1951, NRL was the first to demonstrate that radio energy reflected from the Moon was much more coherent than predicted. As a consequence, a Moon circuit could be used to transmit data at a rate and fidelity adequate for radio communication. NRL then developed the key transmitter and receiver technologies that allowed effective communication through a passive Moon circuit.
  • In 1954, NRL was the first to transmit and return the human voice through outer space.
  • In 1955, NRL first demonstrated transcontinental satellite communication, from Washington, DC, to San Diego, California.
  • In 1959, the world's first operational satellite communication system, allowing communications from Washington, DC, to Oahu, Hawaii, was placed in operation. The public demonstration of this system took place on January 28, 1960, with the exchange of messages between the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet.