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Because of concern about the political stability of South Africa, NASA looked elsewhere for a site when it needed a new antenna station near the same longitude as the one in South Africa to support the expanding deep-space program of the mid-1960s. After an unsuccessful search in Italy in 1962, a series of surveys in Spain in early 1963 eventually identified an area of dry, rolling countryside near the village of Robledo de Chavela (about 56 kilometers [35 miles] west of the capital city of Madrid) as a suitable location. In August 1963, after NASA had gained permission from the Spanish government to use the land and the U.S. State Department had agreed to fund the project, construction began. The station (DSS 61) was ready for system checkout in May 1965 and began participating in Mariner 4 operations in July. The Spanish government's Instituto Nacional de T*cnica Aerospacial (INTA) assumed full responsibility for staffing and operation of the station of 1970.
DSN Picture Album.