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NASA had a definite presence in Bermuda for decades, as the Naval Airstation Bermuda was also home to the Cooper Island Tracking Facility.  In a sense, housing NASA on a naval base made a lot of sense.  Although part of a different agency, NASA personnel from the states were federal employees, which entitled them to some base privileges like cheaper groceries at the commissary as well as other goods at the Navy Exchange, which could be described as a small, all purpose department store.  As for Cooper Island’s official objectives, has more information:

… an integral part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN), the Bermuda station played a vital role in the United States’ Apollo lunar program and other flight missions. The Cooper’s Island station was located on the southeastern tip of Bermuda about 600 miles out in the Atlantic from the U.S. east coast. Radar dishes and helical antennae were used to track anything from spacecraft to sparrows. Because of its location in relation to Cape Kennedy Florida, the Bermuda station had a dual purpose role for the Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN). At the time of launch, the primary mission of the station was to provide trajectory data to the computing facilities at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Computations based on data obtained during the final portion of powered flight was used to confirm the orbital “Go-No Go” decision.  Bermuda normally acquired the spacecraft at approximately T + 3 minutes.

The station was usually able to supply a minimum of 60 seconds of valid radar data prior to engine cutoff and orbital insertion. For subsequent passes of the space craft, Bermuda served as a normal tracking station with command capabilities.In addition to supporting manned missions, the Bermuda station commanded, tracked and acquired valuable data from a host of unmanned scientific and application satellites launched from Cape Kennedy and NASA’sWallops Island launch facility in Virginia.In between flight missions, the Bermuda station’s sophisticated instrumentation was employed by scientists to conduct research ranging from the migratory habits of birds to astronomy.


There’s other good information to be had there.  NASA, on the other hand, has put up some general information on the site.   Also there’s other interesting things to be found searching NASA’a own cluster of pages.  For example, here’s a ground-to-craft communication transcription between a Mercury mission and several tracking stations, Bermuda included.


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