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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 6 6 May 1970


Canta's 24 April front page news story on the Mount John Satellite Tracking Station at least provoked a reply from Mr Holyoake. Salient's similar front page article (entitled Tracker's Military Use Verified) on 30 July last year did not bring any response from the Government. The assertion of both news stories was the same: that the Tracking Station has a military function. This allegation has not yet been denied—as it was so strenuously in the case of the proposed Omega installation. In the following article, Les Atkins outlines how documents issued by the United States Information Service have made it perfectly clear that the Mount John Tracking Station is a military installation. The article purports to do no more than that. The desirability or otherwise of a close involvement in the American defence' system is something that the reader can well we believe, form his own opinions about.

The Mount John Satellite Tracking Station became operational on 19 October last year. The principal piece of equipment in the Station is a Baker-Nunn camera—that is, a Super Schmidt astronomical tracking telescope with a time recording system connected to a highly accurate time standard. The camera is capable of detecting a six metre sphere at the distance of the moon.