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Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex


Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex

Goldstone Deep Space Network
Goldstone Deep Space Network
Organization NASA / JPL / Caltech
Location Mojave Desert (near Barstow), San Bernardino County, California, U.S.
Altitude 2950 ft
Established Summer 1958
Pioneer Deep Space Station
Pioneer Deep Space Station
Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex is located in California
Location Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex, Fort Irwin, California, United States
Area less than 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1958
Architect U.S. Army
Architectural style No Style Listed
Governing body National Aeronautics and 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 communications complex is one of three[4] in the NASA Deep Space Network, the others being the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.


  • Antennas 1
  • "Goldstone has the bird" 2
  • Complex tours 3
  • In popular culture 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


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.[5]

Antennas Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex
Name Characteristic
DSS 13 - "Venus" 34m (~910 m²) reflector with Beam waveguide optics (BWG) on Alt/Az mount, located in Venus, California
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
70m antenna

"Goldstone has the bird"

It is commonly believed that the first American satellite, Explorer 1, was confirmed to be in orbit by the use of the phrase "Goldstone has the bird".[6] However, Goldstone was not in operation at the time of Explorer 1, and like many oft-repeated quotations it is incorrect. Others claim that the actual phrase was "Gold has it!",[7] incorrectly identifying "Gold" as a temporary tracking station at Earthquake Valley, east of Julian, California. 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.[8]

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".[9]

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ "Apollo Deep Space Station". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  3. ^ Goldstone gold mining
  4. ^ GDSCC Overview
  5. ^ "A Search for Ultra-High Energy Neutrino Interactions in the Moon Using Large-Aperture Radio Antennas".  
  6. ^ Medaris, John B. (1960). Countdown for Decision. New York, New York: G. P. Putnam & Sons.  
  7. ^ lecture by George H. Luwig, 9 Oct 2004The First Explorer Satellites
  8. ^ , p.56Juno I: Re-entry Test Vehicles and Explorer Satellites
  9. ^ David Malki (c). Wondermark. ([2]). October 23rd, 2012, .

External links

  • Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex Website
  • Goldstone tours
  • JPL's Deep Space Network Now
  • 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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