Santiago Astrain was awarded the first Arthur C. Clarke Foundation lifetime
achievement award Tuesday night. The award was presented to Mr. Astrain
during the Werhner von Braun Memorial Lecture, a program held at the
Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Astrain’s career in telecommunications began in Santiago, Chile as an
engineer where, among many other accomplishments, he developed the first
earth station for satellite telecommunications in South America. As his
knowledge, vision and talent grew, he became well recognized in the field of
satellite telecommunications. Astrain joined Intelsat in 1972, when he was
named its first Secretary General. He served as Secretary General for four
years, until he was appointed the first Director General of Intelsat in
1976. In this position, Mr. Astrain wrote about the many new technologies
and services he foresaw being developed in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Mr. Astrain was one of the first people to help with the creation of
Intelsat, the first international organization to facilitate satellite
telecommunications worldwide,” said John McLucas, Chairman of the Arthur C.
Clarke Foundation of the United States. “He was instrumental in taking Sir
Arthur C. Clarke’s 1945 vision of geostationary satellites and making it the
technological reality that now connects the people and countries of the
world. In a very real sense, Astrain made Clarke’s science fiction science

“We are honored to present Mr. Astrain with this award,” said Ramu Potarazu,
Vice President of Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer of
Intelsat. “During this important time at Intelsat, with our privatization
scheduled for 18 July, it enriches our history further to present the award
to Mr. Astrain since he played such an enormous role in the development not
only of satellite telecommunications, but also of Intelsat itself. The
entire Intelsat team joins me in offering our congratulations.”

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