Goldstone MSFN Tracking Station, California

The Goldstone Apollo site
was several kilometres from its wing site, which included the 64 metre (210 foot) Mars antenna (DSS-14).

This is how the Apollo station looked in March 1969 –

Goldstone 85' 1969

Goldstone 85' 1969

Bill Wood writes,

Here are two photographs taken around the time of the Apollo 10 mission.

My USB crew was back at the Prime Site working days. I took the 90 foot HyRanger aerial lift and parked it on the access road just west of the station. I took these photos with a Nikon F camera with a 28 mm lens and the normal 50 mm lens.  The film was Ektacolor-S professional color negative. These scans were made from the original negatives.

The building in the right foreground is the local telecom company’s dual microwave terminal.

The trucks are Telco trucks that were there to support the Apollo 10 mission. They were required to be on-hand to handle any failure that happened to either of the two fully redundant microwave links from the station back to Goddard Space Flight Center and the Mission Control center at Houston, Texas.

The small trailer is the GSFC Public Information Officer’s.*
This will also give you an idea of the desert around the station. It is quite stark with very little vegetation, especially so soon after the station installation some four years before.”

* For Apollo 11, the Public Information Officer had his own slow scan monitor in the trailer so that he could use a high resolution mounted Polaroid camera to take photos of the EVA television. See one of those Polaroids here.

Goldstone console 1969

Goldstone console, May 1969
– photo taken while tracking Apollo 10 CSM in lunar orbit.
Photo: Bill Wood.

GDS people on antenna 1969

Goldstone Personnel on the antenna, May 1969.
Photo: Bill Wood.

Cronkite at Goldstone
Legendary TV anchorman Walter Cronkite (right) interviewing Bill Gill, the assistant director of the Mars station, on July 4, 1969 for CBS TV.

They are seated in front of the scan converter. The rack to the right of the scan converter contained the Fairchild slow scan monitor provided to the MSFN stations.

Photo: Bill Wood.


Goldstone 26m antenna

Goldstone 26m antenna

The Apollo 26m antenna at Goldstone as it was at the end of the Apollo missions in 1973.
Photo: Bill Wood.


Goldstone map

This NASA map shows the relative positions of the Goldstone antennae.
The Apollo station is near the Goldstone Dry Lake.

Goldstone Story

The Goldstone Story.

This informative booklet was produced by Bendix Field Engineering Corporation (who had the contract to run the Goldstone Apollo station) to give “some useful facts and figures for personnel proceeding to the Spaceflight Tracking and Data Networks Station at Goldstone, California”.

It was produced in 1974. Bill Wood scanned and produced this PDF file of a copy held by Greg Szekeres. It is 2.2MB in size.