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Goldstone Observatory

 

Goldstone Observatory

Goldstone Deep Space Network
Goldstone Deep Space Network
Organization NASA / JPL / Caltech
Location Mojave Desert (near Barstow), San Bernardino County, California, U.S.
Coordinates
Established Summer 1958
Website
http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/
Telescopes
DSS 13 - "Venus"* 34m (~910 m²) reflector with Beam waveguide optics (BWG) on Alt/Az mount
DSS 14 - "Mars" 70m (~3850 m²) reflector on Alt/Az mount
DSS 15 - "Uranus" 34 m "High Efficiency" reflector on Alt/Az mount
DSS 24, 25, 26 - "Apollo" 34 m reflector with BWG optics on Alt/Az mount
DSS 27, 28 - "Gemini" 34 m reflector with BWG optics on "High Speed" Alt/Az mount
Pioneer Deep Space Station
Template:Designation/text
Pioneer Deep Space Station
Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex
Location Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex, Fort Irwin, California, United States
Coordinates

35°23′21.41″N 116°51′22.31″W / 35.3892806°N 116.8561972°W / 35.3892806; -116.8561972

Area less than 1-acre (4,000 m2)
Built 1958
Architect U.S. Army
Architectural style No Style Listed
Governing body National Aeronautics & Space Administration
NRHP Reference # 85002813
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 3, 1985[1]
Designated NHL October 3, 1985[2]

The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex (GDSCC), commonly called the Goldstone Observatory, is located in the U.S. state of California's Mojave Desert. Operated for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, its main purpose is to track and communicate with space missions. It is named after Goldstone, California, a nearby gold-mining ghost town.[3]

The complex includes the Pioneer Deep Space Station, which is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. The current observatory is part of NASA's Deep Space Network. The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex is one of just three in the world, the others being the Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.

Antennas

Goldstone antennas have also been used as sensitive radio telescopes for such scientific investigations as mapping quasars and other celestial radio sources; radar mapping planets, the Moon, comets and asteroids; spotting comets and asteroids with the potential to strike Earth; and the search for ultra-high energy neutrino interactions in the moon by using large-aperture radio antennas.[4]


"Goldstone has the bird"

It is commonly believed that the first U.S. satellite, Explorer I, was confirmed to be in orbit by the use of the phrase "Goldstone has the bird".[5] However, Goldstone was not in operation at the time of Explorer I, and like many oft-repeated quotations it is incorrect. Others claim that the actual phrase was "Gold has it!",[6] incorrectly identifying "Gold" as a temporary tracking station at Earthquake Valley in the Anza-Borrego desert. In fact, Gold Station was located at the Air Force Missile Test Center (AFMTC) in Florida and the temporary tracking station at Earthquake Valley was Red Station.[7]

Complex tours

The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex conducts tours of its facility and museum to middle and high schools, as well as individuals interested in visiting.

In popular culture

The DSS 14, "Mars" telescope is specifically quoted in the webcomic Wondermark, episode 881 "In which a Standard is Questioned".[8]

See also

References

External links

  • Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex Website
  • Goldstone tours
  • NASA's Deep Space Network
  • JPL: Images of the Deep Space Network Goldstone, California
  • JPL: Images of the Deep Space Network Goldstone, California
  • JPL Communications Systems and Research Section 332 Website
  • Historic 'Mars antenna' in Mojave Desert undergoing repairs (Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2010)
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