Communion Of Dreams


Jamesburg Earth Station

It’d be fun to include this little gem into any future revision of Communion. From an article in Aviation Week:

Space History Buffs Try to Save Sat Dish

A chance reading of a “for sale” advertisement in a weekly newspaper has launched a group of 30 space history buffs on a mission to save the 30-meter Jamesburg AT&T/Comsat satellite dish about an hour from Monterey, Calif.

The dish was built in 1968 to support the Apollo 11 moon landing a year later. Besides its commercial duties, it also played a role in capturing and distributing images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, says Pat Barthelow, an avionics technician from Sacramento who first noticed the ad in the Carmel (Calif.) Pine Cone and quickly put out the word.The weekend restorers worked over the past four months to get the dish running. The 10-story high dish is housed in a 20,000 square foot building, both of which are in excellent shape, Barthelow said.

[Mild spoiler] This would make for a perfect reference about ‘industrial archeology’ for Arthur Bailey to make at any of several junctures in the book. I love the notion that people are now starting to realize that the NASA era contains valuable historical artifacts that are outside our usual scope of consideration. Sure, someday there will be a dome covering the site of the Apollo 11 landing, where Niel Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked. But places like the Jamesburg Earth Station are just as valuable from the perspective of understanding the tech behind our first ventures into space.

(Via BoingBoing.)

Jim Downey


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