Merritt Island Spaceflight Tracking & Data Network Stations (MILA)
(now demolished)

Built in 1966 as one of 17 ground-based tracking stations used to support the Apollo Program, MILA occupied 61 acres of land on Kennedy Space Center and located 1 mile west and south of the Visitors Information Center, MILA was a Goddard Space Flight Center managed and AlliedSignal Technical Services Corporation operated and maintained tracking station. The site was decommissioned on July 28, 2011 following the end of the shuttle program.


MILA contained thirteen antennas and equipment to provide communications between a space vehicle (like the Shuttle Orbiter) and its control center Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas for the Shuttle during its mission. Antennas at MILA tracked or point directly at the radio frequency signals transmitted from a moving space vehicle. A ranging signal transmitted from MILA to the space vehicle and back again establishes the distance between MILA and the vehicle by how long the two way trip takes.

MILA's antennas included two 30ft (9.1m) S-Band antennas (used to track spacecraft), one space-pointed Ku-Band 10ft (3m) parabolic dish antennas (used to relay signals to and from TDRS), one ground-based 10ft (3m) Ku-Band antenna (used to relay signals from MILA to Orbiter locations at KSC), two UHF antennas (used for voice communications), one 4ft (1.2m) X-Band dish, one 4ft (1.2m) S-Band dish, one 15ft (4.6m) S-Band dish (used as a backup for the 9.1m dish), two 4ft (1.2m) calibration dishes on the facilities north tower, one 6ft (1.8m) microwave antenna on the north tower (used as a link to the PDL tracking station, one shortwave antenna (used to receive timing signals from NIST and two UHF antennas for monitoring the UHF tracking antennas.

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