n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Johannesburg Moonwatch recalled : satellite tracking

Volume 72, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0024-8266



South Africa played a very important role at the dawn of the space-age because of its strategic position on the globe, being the first land mass over which satellites launched from the US, would pass. It is thus logical that America invested in tracking stations here. One such method was called Moonwatch where an "optical fence" was set up, detecting the satellite as it passed through it. However, this required a lot of manpower, which was supplied by keen volunteers who wanted to be part of the space age. Prof Peter Spargo, then a WITS student, was the youngest member of the Johannesburg Moonwatch and shares his memories of this experience here.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error