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Solar System Exploration
Original Antenna
Original Antenna (click to enlarge)

Original Antenna
Date: 1 Dec 1958

This image shows the first station of what would become the Deep Space Network located at Goldstone, Calif. Named the Pioneer Station, it played a key role in tracking spacecraft from 1958 to 1981.

The Pioneer Station was named after Pioneers 3 and 4, the first spacecraft with which it communicated in December 1958 and March 1959. The antenna, based on a radio telescope design, was manufactured and erected during a seven-month period. The antenna's communication with Pioneer 4 to a distance of 650,000 km was a record-setting achievement at the time.

Credit: NASA

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Last Updated: 22 Apr 2013