The Radome of Pleumeur Bodou
Since Jules Verne, the idea of making transmissions using satellites seemed to belong to science-fiction... until the birth of the Radome in the early 1960s. Back to the future: Between history and the future
From the Radome to the Cité des télécoms, discover the exciting adventure of a technical achievement of worldwide significance!}
A link between De Gaulle and Kennedy: Kennedy’s United-States set out to conquer Space, starting with the launch of the first telecommunications satellites; it built its radome in Maine, and Kennedy invited Europe to take up the challenge of capturing the signal that would be retransmitted by the Telstar 2 satellite. General De Gaulle’s France entered the competition, and thanks to the initiative of Pierre Marzin from Lannion, chose the site of Pleumeur-Bodou to build a radome similar to the American one. The pharaonic construction site, started in 1961, is crowned with success: on July 10, a rocket sent Telstar 2 into orbit around the Earth and during the night the Pleumeur-Bodou Radome picked up the TV link: it is the very first Europe/USA telecommunication, and the achievement is hailed by the whole world community! France spoke live to America, and Yves Montand’s "Chansonnette" crosses the Atlantic: it can be heard at the beginning of the Sound and Light show presented in the Radome.
The Radome of Pleumeur-Bodou became world famous, and remained in operation until the early 1980s.
Today, the Radôme is classified as a historical monument; it can be visited through the Cité des télécoms, which is the largest European centre dedicated to telecommunications.
To find out more: the Radome, at the Cité des télécoms