Early Bird, also known as Intelsat 1, was the first commercial communications satellite to orbit at a synchronous altitude, remaining stationary above the same point on Earth. Designed both to provide operational experience and to generate revenue through customer use, the satellite was highly successful. Launched on Apr. 6, 1965, by a Delta rocket from Cape Kennedy, Fla., Early Bird was ultimately placed into an equatorial orbit with an apogee of 36,373 km (22,733 mi), a perigee of 34,797 km (21,748 mi), and a period of 1,436 min.The satellite was an aluminum and magnesium cylinder 71 cm (28 in) in diameter and 58 cm (23 in) high, weighing 38 kg (85 lb). It had an active repeater transmitter with a power of 6 W that could handle 240 two-way voice channels or 1 television channel. Power was supplied by 6,000 solar cells and by internal nickel-cadmium batteries. Commercial service began on June 28, 1965. Early Bird was turned off in January 1969, reactivated in June, and finally retired in August 1969. The experience and technology gained from the satellite helped greatly in developing the Intelsat communications satellites.