n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Paardefontein Satellite Tracking Station 1965 - 1981 : astronomical traveller




From an early date France was very active in space research. In 1961 the CENTRE NATIONAL D;ETUDES SPATIALES (CNES) was established by President Charles de Gaulle with headquarters in Paris, France and under supervision of the French Ministries of Defence and Research. Also in 1961, the Hammaguir missile range was established in Algeria, some 113 kilometres to the south east of Colomb-Bechar. Tests were conducted with various missiles, including the ballistic DIAMANT rocket which had satellite launch capability. The site operated until it had to be evacuated before 1 July 1967 and was replaced by the Guiana Space Centre in South America.


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