Orbital Focus - International Spaceflight Facts and Figures
carousel image
The Kettering Group

Tyneside, UK
2024 Jun 15
Saturday, Day 167

Curated by:

Kettering Group Equipment in Detail:

Elsewhere on the Web:

Contemporary 1966 film of the tracking equipment

The Tracking Station and Equipment

The tracking station occupied the north-west corner of Physics Laboratory 'A' on the ground floor of the School Science Building. After Kettering Grammar School was closed as a site (it had been renamed "Kettering Boys School" by that time), the buildings and grounds were acquired by the Tresham Institute, the former Kettering Technical College. Physics Laboratory 'A' was pressed into service as a student snack bar until demolition in 2007.

This photograph was taken in 1979 by Sven Grahn and has been annotated so it can be related back to the equipment lists that can be found from the left hand menu.

Some of the equipment is now held by the National Space Centre at Leicester, having been donated by Derek Slater. A page on its website has an inventory of the items together with photographs.

Not everything is on view because items came and went through donation or retirement. Also, some equipment is simply out of sight (like the aerials on the roof) or not there because it is not relevant to day-to-day tracking. Several of the items require dedicated power supply units. They are not listed in their own right but wherever one is called for, the appropriate unit is still held alongside the equipment that it powers.

Annotated view of the tracking station

David Hall and Pye Mercury receiver
The modified Pye Mercury transmitter/receiver used to listen to the MSF time signal from Rugby is not included in the main photo. It is out of view off the right hand side of the frame.

The photo on the right is a still from a December 1966 film sequence held by British Pathé, a cinema film news organisation in the UK, and shows a good view of the the receiver. The full film can be viewed from the left hand menu.

The satellite tracking schoolboy in the photograph is David Hall.
Copyright © Robert Christy, all rights reserved
Reproduction of this web page or any of its content without permission from the website owner is prohibited