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Foreign Tracking Stations




Foreign Tracking Stations

From the time of Vanguard on, the United States developed bilateral agreements with other nations to permit the establishment of tracking stations in all parts of the world, especially north and south through the Americas, essential to coverage of the satellites using
mini track. Then a similar system was developed for Project Mercury in an equatorial belt around the Earth. This has since supported Gemini and the Earth orbital operations of Apollo.
The Soviet Union either did not feel the same need for such complete coverage of its flights, being content to pick up recorded data as the flights went over their own territory, or perhaps they were reluctant to negotiate pacts with other countries which would expose the details of their data collection in the same open manner as the NASA program of the United States.
Hence, in a much more limited way they developed only a few largely unpublicized tracking stations in other countries, mostly places with a political climate favorable to the U.S.S.R. In December 1967, TASS referred to Soviet stations in the United Arab Republic (presumably Helwan), Mali, and "other" countries. (34) By April 1968, Guinea in West Africa was also named. (35) By October 1968, reference was made to a station in Cuba. (36) In February 1970, reference was made to a second station in the U.A.R., this one in Aswan. (37) In 1971, they added one in Fort Lamy, Chad. (38) From time to time there have been rumors and re-ports that the Russians put out feelers that they might like to establish tracking stations in such countries as Indonesia, Australia, and Chile. It is believed tracking is done at Khartoum in the Sudan, Afgoi in Somali, Kerguelen (South Indian Ocean) and Mirnyy (Antarctica).

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Page last modified: 10-04-2016 19:05:45 ZULU