Historical photographs

Madrid complex. Spanish observatories

Madrid complex. Spanish observatories

In a valley of the Community of Madrid, 60 kilometers from the capital, is the Space Communications Complex of Madrid. Located in a forest near Robledo de Chavela, the complex is known in English as Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex (MDSCC).

It is a station of the NASA Deep Space Network program, in which more than a hundred Spanish engineers, especially physicists, telecommunications and aeronautics collaborate. All of them have been working with NASA space missions for over 40 years.

NASA arrived at Robledo de Chavela in 1964. At that time a 26-meter-diameter antenna was built, which premiered with the Mariner 4 mission to Mars, in July 1965. Currently, seven antennas operate at the MDSCC, being the largest of 70 meters in diameter.

The Space Communications Complex of Madrid has participated in almost all Apollo missions, including the one that put the first man on the Moon. Robledo was able to contact the Spirit robot when he was held incommunicado on the surface of Mars, and from here he also maintained contact with the oldest NASA missions. This is the case of Voyager, which is already outside the Solar System. Other current NASA missions in which he participates are the Cassini-Huygens probe on Saturn, the Mars Globlal Surveyor or the Spirit and Opportunity rover scouts on Mars.

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