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This Week in Tech History: Release of Donkey Kong and the first landing on Mars | Into Tomorrow

On this edition of "This Week in Tech History", Chris brings us back to the release of Donkey Kong as well as NASA's Pathfinder Spacecraft landing on Mars.

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telstar_iThis week in 1951 – Dr. William Shockley announced that he had invented a working and efficient junction transistor at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ.

1962 – Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, was successfully launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral, FL. “Telstar” would usher in a new age of communication via telephone and TV, with voice and picture transmission from Europe to America and back Communications have come a long way in the last 54 years.DonkeyKong

In 1981 this week – Donkey Kong, a video game created by Nintendo, was released. The game also marked the debut of Nintendo’s future mascot, Mario. 35 years ago, when the game was released, Mario was actually named “Mr. Video.” Then his name was changed to “Jumpman” before Sojourner_on_Mars_PIA01122developers finally settled on Mario.

1997 – The Mars Pathfinder spacecraft, launched by NASA from the Earth in December 1996, entered the atmosphere of Mars. A heat shield, parachutes, and airbags helped it land safely. The Sojourner rover searched the surface of Mars for rocks while millions of earthlings watch it on TV and the Internet.

Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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