Madrid Ground Station Crew Says Hello After 46 Years

Dennis Wingo just discovered a message written inside one of the Madrid ground station Lunar Orbiter 5 tapes today - tape M5-87 - recorded on day 233 of 1967 (21 August). It is blurred with time but says "Greetings from DSS-62 (indecipherable) in SPAIN (indecipherable)" DSS stands for "Deep Space Station". Some people put messages in a bottle and throw the bottle into the ocean. These guys used a tape container lid to send us this message. No one has opened this container since 1967.

The DSS 62 antenna was on a polar mount and was 85 feet across. It operated from 27 December 1966 to 30 November 1981. DSN's Deep Space History webpage notes "After NASA declared the station surplus to its operational needs in 1983, it was donated to the Spanish government".

This photo posted by Robert Estalella shows several FR-1400 tape drives (but not the FR-900 drives).

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