COMSAT Legacy Foundation
The COMSAT Legacy Foundation
Bulletin #17
April 15, 2005

This is the seventeenth bulletin on progress by the COMSAT Legacy Foundation.

I am pleased to announce that Paul Weeks has agreed to help us in clearing out a backlog of legal work.

Based upon a strong expression of interest, we had a production run of the Live via Early Bird film on DVD (no one wanted VHS) and distributed it by mail in return for a donation to the COMSAT Legacy Fund. It was shown by Comara at their recent social event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Early Bird launch where additional copies were acquired by participants. There are a handful of copies left and, if you want one, please contact me.

We are considering the production of copies of the first Marisat film, Via Marisat, produced by Hale Montgomery about ten years after the Early Bird film. If you have an interest in that one, please let me know so that we may properly size a production run. We will be looking for a minimum donation of $15.

In my last bulletin. I mentioned the possibility of the Labs building in Clarksburg being designated for historic preservation. Below is a copy of the letter we sent to the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission.

Ed Martin

Edward J. Martin
7122 Plantation Lane
Rockville, MD 20852

Telephone: (301) 770-0984
Fax: (301) 881-5726


7122 Plantation Lane Rockville, Maryland 20852 April 14, 2005

Edward J. Martin

Ms. Julia O'Malley
Chair, Historic Preservation Commission
Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3760

Dear Ms. O'Malley:

It has come to my attention that the Historic Preservation Commission is considering the designation of the COMSAT Laboratories building at 22300 COMSAT Drive in Clarksburg to be included in the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation. I would like to join those urging favorable consideration of this proposal.

The Foundation that I represent was established for the sole purpose of preserving the history of the accomplishments of the COMSAT Corporation. COMSAT was created pursuant to enabling legislation signed into law by President Kennedy in 1962. It was an instrument of foreign policy intended to exert US leadership in the exploitation of the emerging space technology by establishing a global system of satellite communications. In that goal, COMSAT was a great success and major contributions to that success came from COMSAT Laboratories, established at the Clarksburg site in 1968. At the time of its creation, it was the largest institution in the world exclusively devoted to the development of satellite communications technology. Thus, the proposed designation would not only preserve an architectural masterpiece but would also serve to memorialize a Montgomery County Corporate citizen that played a dominant role in establishing US leadership in the commercialization of space.

Should this historic preservation come into effect, the Foundation would be pleased to cooperate with the developer and/or other interested parties in the creation of an exhibit within the building devoted to the memory of COMSAT, its Laboratories and the pioneering era in satellite communications.