Picture Album of the
DEEP SPACE NETWORK
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The second deep-space station to be established overseas was installed in 1961 on a farm in a valley near the settlement of Hartebeesthoek (DSS 51), about 48 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa. Its antenna, like the one at Woomera, was a duplicate of the Goldstone Pioneer antenna; it was erected between January 16 and March 25, 1961, and its electronics were completely installed by the following June. With the completion of the station, the three-station Deep Space Network (or Deep Space Instrumentation Facility, as it was called then) became fully operational in time to support the Ranger 1 mission.
The station was operated by the National Institute for Telecommunications Research (NITR), a unit of the South African government's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The CSIR/NITR appointed Douglas Hogg as the first station director. The station ceased operations in June 1974, due to changing requirements for planetary flight programs. The antenna was transferred to NITR, which configured it for radio astronomy research that continues to the present day.