Carnarvon Tracking Station


Carnarvon Tracking Station

The Carnarvon Tracking Station in Western Australia was a tracking station built in 1963 for use by NASA for the Gemini program, the second step for NASA's plan to put a human on the Moon. It replaced the Muchea Tracking Station and used some of the equipment from Project Mercury.

The Station also included an FPQ-6 precision tracking radar, a STADAN scientific satellite tracking facility, a planet Jupiter monitoring system, and a Solar Particle Alert Network (SPAN) facility. Together these facilities formed the largest station in the NASA network outside mainland USA.

After the conclusion of the Gemini program, Carnarvon Tracking Station provided extensive support for the Project Apollo missions to the Moon. By reason of Carnarvon's unique geographical position it was used to uplink the Trans Lunar Injection (TLI) command to the Apollo spacecrafts and was prime for the last hours of re-entry to Earth.

To enhance critical communications between the station and the Houston Control Centre, NASA funded the near-by OTC Satellite Earth Station Carnarvon in 1966.

After Project Apollo finished, the Carnarvon Tracking Station continued with the Skylab project. When Skylab finished the station ceased routine operations immediately after an AE-C pass on Friday, 4th October 1974 but retained sufficient capability for one final mission - the trans-solar insertion of Helios-A on 10 December 1974. The final closure of the gates and exodus of the last five staff members took place on Friday, April 18th 1975.

The main building was then used by Radio Australia who were looking for a home after Cyclone Tracy put their Darwin installation out of commission. They closed this facility in June 1996. All Tracking Station equipment was removed and/or buried and all buildings, with the exception of one small one now used by Telstra, were razed. Only the foundations of what is an historical site remain. [per Terence Kierans, ex-Operations Supervisor and Paul Dench, ex-Chief Engineer and contractor Company Manager]

Solar scientific research, originally carried out at the Carnarvon Tracking Station, is now carried out on the adjacent OTC Satellite Earth Station Carnarvon site, which hosts a node of the Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network.

References

External links

* [http://www.carnarvonspace.com CarnarvonSpace.com] Book and website
* [http://crotrak.com Crotrak.com] Website


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Muchea Tracking Station — Established in 1960, Muchea Tracking Station (near Perth, Western Australia) was built specifically for NASA s Project Mercury. It was Station No. 8 of 14 sites around the world used throughout the project. The only other Australian site was No.… …   Wikipedia

  • Island Lagoon Tracking Station — The first deep space station to be established outside of the United States was at Island Lagoon (Deep Space Station 41), near Woomera, South Australia in August 1960. This area was chosen as the Australian government was working with the… …   Wikipedia

  • Carnarvon — and Caernarvon are anglicised forms of the name of the Welsh town Caernarfon. The anglicised spellings have become largely obsolete in Wales since the 1970s, but persist elsewhere. The name may also refer to:PlacesAustralia * Carnarvon Highway,… …   Wikipedia

  • Carnarvon (Western Australia) — Carnarvon Staat …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Carnarvon, Western Australia — Infobox Australian Place | type = town name = Carnarvon state = wa caption = Location of Carnarvon in Western Australia (red) lga = Shire of Carnarvon postcode = 6701 est = 1883 pop = 5,283 (2006 census) elevation= 4 maxtemp = 27.1 mintemp = 17.2 …   Wikipedia

  • Carnarvon — /kəˈnavən/ (say kuh nahvuhn), /ka / (say kah ) noun 1. a town and shire on the central western coast of WA, at the mouth of the Gascoyne River; important port. 2. → Caernarvon. {def. 1 named after Lord Carnarvon, British secretary of state for… …   Australian English dictionary

  • OTC Satellite Earth Station Carnarvon — The 12.8m wide Casshorn antenna, commissioned in October 1966, has interacting parabolic and hyperbolic reflectors in a characteristic ‘sugar scoop’ form. It claims to be the only remaining example in the world. The larger 29.8m parabolic dish… …   Wikipedia

  • Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network — Orroral Valley STADAN control panel, at the National Museum of Australia The Spacecraft Tracking and Data (Acquisition) Network (STADAN or STDN) was established by NASA to satisfy the requirement for long duration, highly available space to… …   Wikipedia

  • Muchea, Western Australia — For the Romanian village, see Siliştea, Brăila. Muchea Western Australia Population: 493[1] Established …   Wikipedia

  • German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran — Kormoran redirects here. For other uses, see Kormoran (disambiguation). Auxiliary cruiser Kormoran meets a German U boat at sea Career (Nazi Germany) …   Wikipedia