DSS-41 Island Lagoon missions supported



(In time, there will be pages for various projects supported.)

Mariner 2 plaque

This plaque, ‘To Commemorate the Participation of DSIF Station 4’ during the Mariner 2 Venus mission, was presented to Station Director Bill Mettyear – signed by W H Pickering (JPL Director) and Eberhardt Rechtin (Chief DSN Telecommunications Division).

Image: Bill Mettyear Jr.


Island Lagoon

Presentation of plaques at JPL for the support of Mariner 2.

1. William Pickering, JPL Director.
2. Richard Mallis, JPL Operations Manager.
3. Bill Mettyear, DSS 41 Woomera, Station Director.
4. Walt Larkin, Goldstone.
5. Douglas Hogg, DSS 51 Hartebeesthoek, Station Director.
6. Eberhardt Rechtin, JPL Deputy Director.

Scan: Bill Mettyear Jr.


Island Lagoon

Presentation of plaques at JPL for the support of Mariner 2.

1. William Pickering, JPL Director.
2. Nick Renzetti, JPL.
3. Richard Fahnestock, JPL Representative Adelaide.
4. Paul Jones, JPL Representative for South Africa.
5. Eberhardt Rechtin, JPL Deputy Director.
6. Bill Mettyear, DSS 41 Woomera, Station Director.
7. Richard Mallis, JPL Operations Manager.
8. Walt Larkin, Goldstone.
9. Douglas Hogg, DSS 51 Hartebeesthoek, Station Director.

Scan: Bill Mettyear Jr.

Thanks to Chuck Koscielski, Mike Dinn and Richard Mallis for help with identification.




Some of the key tracking assignments for DSS 41 included –


The Ranger spacecraft
(Rangers I to IX, desighned to transmit television pictures of the lunar surface prior to their impact. The Ranger missions helped characterise the lunar surface and select possible Apollo landing sites. The program ran from August 1961 to March 1965.)

Mariner II flyby of Venus (tracked August 1962 – January 1963)

Mariner IV flyby of Mars (July 1965). Both Woomera and Tidbinbilla (DSS-42) supported the mission.

Mariner V flyby of Venus (tracked from June 1967)

The Pioneer spacecraft in solar orbit.

The Lunar Orbiter program in preparation for the Surveyor and Apollo landings.

This, more comprehensive, list was printed on the Station’s final Christmas card

Missions supported by DSS-41 Island Lagoon

Solar Probe P14
Ranger I
Ranger II
Ranger III
Ranger IV
Mariner II
Ranger V
Centaur AC2
IMP S74
Ranger VI
Ranger VII
Mariner III
Mariner IV
Ranger VIII
Ranger IX
Pioneer IX
Pioneer VI
Lunar Orbiter A
Pioneer VII
AC-9
Lunar Orbiter B
Lunar Orblter C
Lunar Orbiter D
Mariner V
Lunar Orbiter E
Pioneer VIII
Mariner Mars 69
Mariner Mars 71
Pioneer X

26 October 1961 – 28 Mar 1961 (??)
25–29 August 1961
18 November 1961
26 January – 02 February 1962
23–26 April 1962
27 August 1962 – 04 January 1963
18–21 October 1962
27 November 1963
27 November 1962 – 06 December 1963
30 January – 02 February 1964
28–31 July 1964
06 November 1964
28 November 1964 – 01 October 1965
18–20 February 1965
22–24 March 1965
08 November 1968 – station close
15 December 1965 – station close
10 August – 29 October 1966
19 September 1966 – station close
26 October 1966
7 November 1966 – 11 October 1967
05 February – 9 October 1967
05 May 1967 – 16 August 1967
14 June – 21 November 1967
02 August 1967 – 31 January 1968
13 December 1967 – station close
25 February – October 1969
30 May – 27 October 1972
02 March 1972 – station close.


Lunar Orbiter launch

Mariner IV is readied for launch in 1964. Tracked by both Island Lagoon and Tidbinbilla, Mariner IV returned the first close-up images of Mars.

Large, Larger.

NASA photo. Scan: Jan Delgado.


Lunar Orbiter launch

One of the Lunar Orbiters is launched – probably Lunar Orbiter 2 on 6 November 1966.

NASA photo. Scan: Jan Delgado.