[TRACKING STATIONS], 13887 byte(s).

The below information was taken from a Mojave STADAN Station visitor information pamphlet and probably from the late 60's and from this writers personal experience with the STADAN Network.

STADAN stations were located throughout the world and provided a means of tracking and acquiring telemetry data from various unmanned scientific satellites. These stations were under the control of the Goddard Space Flight Center located at Greenbelt, Maryland. A typical site would have a SATAN receive (yagi) type antenna, a SATAN command antenna for commanding the spacecraft, and a MINITRACK interferometer tracking system. Others had the 40 foot parabolic VHF/UHF/S-Band antenna. There were many different configurations between the sites that included other unique systems not listed above and variances of the above systems. One such system found at some sites was the Goddard Range and Range Rate (GRARR). These were located at Tananarive, Santiago, Rosman and Carnarvon, Australia and were used in orbital determination of a spacecraft. Tananarive also had a small MSFN group consisting of UHF Air-Ground and the C-Band (CAPRI) RADAR system. Several stations supported the Applications Technology Satellite Mission (ATS).

The STADAN was combined with MSFN in 1972 and became the Spaceflight Tracking Data Network (STDN) and the rest is history.......



Building 25 joined the Goddard facility in 1966 as the Network Testing and Training Facility (NTTF). The building was divided into two separate equipment laboratories, one for the Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) and one for the Satellite Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STADAN). These laboratories designed, developed and tested prototype equipment destined for their respective network stations

CLICK here for a history of the NTTF


See Photos HERE


See Photos Here

Tananarive was primarily a STADAN station but had a MSFN CAPRI C-Band tracking RADAR and UHF Air-Ground system. The STADAN systems were the SATAN command and receive antenna's, 40 foot antenna, MINITRACK and Goddard Range & Range Rate.

Tananarive ceased operations in July 1975 due to political strife and just prior to the Apollo-Soyuz Mission in July 1975.




The Newfoundland (NFL) station located about 15 miles north of St. Johns was originally built as a MINITRACK site in 1960 to support ground tracks beyond 35 degrees north latitude. The site also had a MOTS Optical tracking system. The MINITRACK/MOTS operation was shut down in 1970.

During 1972 the MSFN and the STADAN networks were consolidated as one Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network (STDN) and as part of this consolidation the transportable tracking system at Grand Bahama was sent to St. John's, Newfoundland to provide Skylab launch support during May 1973, and later, in mid July of 1975 the Newfoundland station supported the Apollo/Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) with the system.

After ASTP the transportable station was moved to Edwards AFB, CA where it became the Buckhorn (BUC) station and at this time NFL was shut down for all NASA operations. It is understood that the Canadian Government built a Landsat station there after that that lasted a few years.


See Photos Here

The Ft. Myers station was created when Fidel Castro gained
control over Cuba about 1958 or 1959. It became the unnofficial
training center (before NTTF) for several people including the
deputy station directors. When the Orbiting Solar Observatory
(OSO) program started, the station was prime for that spacecraft.
Tests were conducted using an OSO simulator spacecraft with
all the onboard telemetry systems to check for interference
problems. The spacecraft simulator was flown over the station
with a helicopter to simulate an actual pass.

Ft. Myers was closed in 1972 and it's equipment relocated to Merritt Island, FL.


See Photos Here

Quito ceased operations in 1981 following the STS-2 mission in October-November.




See Photos Here



Read Roger Lee's personal account of his years at Gilmore Creek
"Gilmore Creek"


See Photos Here


See Photos Here

Rosman started operations in 1963 and ceased operations as a NASA tracking station in 1981 at which time the site was turned over to the Department of Defense. In 1995 the Department of Defense closed the facility and transferred the site to the U.S. Forest Service. In 1999 the site was purchased from the U.S. Forest Service and gifted to the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute for use as an astronomical research and education facility. See their WEB SITE for photos and history.



See the "Australia" page (PART 4) for details



See the "Australia" page (PART 4) for details.



Late Note from Don Mischel (3/10/2000)

"Regarding Mojave STADAN, did you know that it was moved to Mojave from Brown Field located on Otay Mesa just outside of Chula Vista, CA. There are still a couple of guys in Barstow that worked at Brown Field before it moved here. Mojave is totally abandoned now and we're waiting to get the money to tear the buildings down. Every now and again I drive over there and it's like visiting a cemetery with the memories of all the people I've seen go through Mojave/Goldstone in the last 34 years".

Late Note from Reid Drummond August 2009.

"The dismantling of the Goldstone 9-meter antenna started August 21, 2009. As far as I know, it is going to be turned into scrap.

A contractor mentioned a walk-through the 26-meter (DSS-16) antenna, so its dismantling will be at a later date.

Demolition of the Mojave site has also been in progress.

The Microwave Test Facility (MTF) has been gutted and the east walls were mostly down as of yesterday." (August 21, 2009)

Reid Drummond
Goldstone Spectrum and Airspace Coordination Supervisor

Photos of the 9-Meter dismantling can be seen here:



Many thanks to Dave Harris of NASA who furnished the following. Dave worked in the area of tracking and communications.

"In 1960, we were installing devices on the cameras located in the center of the Minitrack field of antennas. These devices allowed us to track the newly launched Echo balloon communication satellite and help gain information for geodetic research. The station was known as NELCAL and was located on Brown Field near Chula Vista, CA. Some documents referred to it as San Diego. I'm pretty sure the station was run by a BFEC team, but I can't remember the name of the station director. It closed down in late 1960.

As you may already know, additional MOTS (Minitrack Optical Tracking System) cameras were installed at colleges and universities to help gather images of the geodetic research satellites launched as part of the ANNA and GEOS series. These cameras, the same as those at the Minitrack stations, were near Sudbury, Canada; Caguas, Puerto Rico; Kingston, Jamaica and Brownsville, Texas."

Dave Harris

Late note on NELCAL from Jack Carlson, 5/19/2012

Jim Crane was the Bendix Senior M&O. There was no NASA Director.
Jim left NELCAL and Bendix and joined NASA at GSFC. I was with a
team that was sent to Joburg to refurbish the 108 yagi array ant.



" For about 18 months in 1976-77 we had a transportable station in northern Pakistan. It was there to record directly downlinked data from Landsat 2 or 3 - I don't recall which. The onboard recorder had failed. A project called LACIE - Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment - was collecting data on grain production in the Ukraine and the Indian subcontinent. We had four men there headed up by Charlie Couranz." Info provided by Ben Gallup.



Many thanks to Doug Wilson for furnishing the following on the NAMFI Project.

In 1966 through at least 1970 there was a project headed by Buzz Goins (cgoins@sbcglobal.net) called Project Namfi Nato Missile Firing Range on the Island of Crete, Greece but with sites on a couple of other Greek Islands. This was a NATO affair whereby European NATO personnel would go to Crete to practice firing Nike, Hawk, and Sergeant missiles rather than make the long trip to White Sands, etc.

This project was quite extensive in scope and is today, still in operation. There were French, German, Greek, American and many other countries who had an active part in this project.

Buzz Goins was the project manager in Riesterstown but there were several others I remember. Carl Arbogast, Peter Plenes, and in Greece there was Don Gastineau who headed the construction part of the operation for Bendix.

I left Maryland for Crete about February 1967 as an instructor on a command destruct system for the Sergeant project, and also instructed a telemetry class with Greek military and civilian technical personnel. There were six instructors all together and we taught everything from Radar to Milgo plotters. We set up a control center that was much like a small Cape Kennedy NASA operation. Everything under control at one building. This was quite a project. I stayed for about 2 years and this is still a big deal with NATO.

As best as I remember, Bendix formed a joint agreement with a Greek construction company or companies called Etair? They put in the roads and built the building to house the range safety radar stations. There were probably five radar stations and one on the Island of Thira or San Torini ? This is the island where the great volcanic eruption occurred around 1400 BC and was the site of "Atlantis" by some modern day historians?

Doug Wilson


The STDN's Final Years - 1979 to 1988
This document includes mention of stations such
as Dakar, Botswana, Yarragardee in Australia
Buckhorn, Ponce de Leon in Florida and others.

We invite any additions and (or) corrections to any of the material on this or any of the pages.
Gary Schulz


PART 4 (Australia)