The Madrid Apollo Tracking Station

Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
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Trip End Sep 30, 2010


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Flag of Spain  , Madrid,
Monday, August 16, 2010

The Madrid Apollo Station (three letter code MAD) was one of the three 85 foot prime stations purpose-built for Apollo. It was built at Fresnedillas near Madrid.

Like Honeysuckle and Goldstone, Madrid had an Apollo ‘wing’ station – in this case a section of the nearby DSN station at Robledo de Chavela (now known as the Madrid Deep Space Communicatios Complex) was modified for Apollo USB operations. Robledo de Chavela is 56km west of Madrid.

Though Madrid missed out on the Apollo 11 EVA (the Moon was below the horizon at Madrid), those at the station had their share of glory. Notably, this included live TV from Apollo 8 in lunar orbit on Christmas Eve 1968 – and tracking the Apollo 11 astronauts as they lifted off from the Moon on July 21 (Madrid time) 1969.
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