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Friday, April 16, 2021

CONTINUITY: The Story of NASA's Space Tracking Ships

In the early days of missile testing and spaceflight, tracking ships allowed covering gaps where satellites in low Earth orbit were out of range of ground-based tracking and control stations. As satellite communication constellations such as NASA's TDRS (Tracking and Data Relay Satellite) matured, the need for such ships diminished and now most have been retired.

Many of NASA's early tracking ships were converted from World War II Liberty ships, many built at the Marinship yards in Sausalito, California. Years later, I named my computer hardware company, Marinchip Systems, after this enterprise and, a few years after that, Autodesk, Inc. had its headquarters at 2320 Marinship Way in Sausalito, on the site of the former shipyard.

Posted at April 16, 2021 09:58