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Syncom, the first commercial experimental satellite to be placed in a geosynchronous orbit, was to become the most important of the experimental satellites to the U.S. Navy and DoD, as well as to the general public. The concept for Syncom had been proposed by the Hughes Aircraft Company, turned down by DoD, and then awarded a contract by NASA in 1961.
Syncom-I, launched in February 1963, did not achieve orbit. Syncom-II (launched in July 1963) and Syncom-III (in August 1964) succeeded and demonstrated the great utility of geosynchronous orbit, which has been used for almost all subsequent U.S. communications satellites.