2020-2021 Science Planning Summaries
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2020-2021 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

NASA / McMurdo Ground Station (MG1)

no photo available
T-927-M Research Location(s): McMurdo Station


Event Number:
NSF / NASA Agreement

Program Manager:
Mr. Pat Smith

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Sheryl Seagraves

Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Mark Harris
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Wallops Flight Facility
Wallops Island, Virginia


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: McMurdo Station


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) McMurdo Ground Station (MG1) is a 10-meter antenna housed in a white radome, which is visible on the hill above McMurdo Station. It is used primarily for data recovery from polar-orbiting science satellites. MG1 also provides launch and early operations phase (LEOP) support for launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base involving satellite missions that require downrange telemetry (example from September 2021 – Landsat 9 satellite); telemetry and command for satellite housekeeping; recovery from satellite operational emergencies; and, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service, recovery of data for the EUMETSAT MetOp polar weather satellites. NASA also has a McMurdo Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Relay System (MTRS) ground terminal at Crater Hill for high-speed data transfers of MG1 data. MTRS uses high-inclination TDRS satellites visible above the local horizon.

Field Season Overview

The MG1 activity is a year-round effort for which two NASA engineers are deployed to McMurdo Station to operate and maintain the systems. Due to COVID restrictions, no additional maintenance activity will take place in 2020-21. Summer and Winter crews will swap in August and again in February.

Deploying Team Members

  • Rex Cotten
  • Rex Cotten
  • Rex Cotten
  • Jennifer Cox
  • Jennifer Cox
  • Jennifer Cox
  • Victoria Landgraf
  • Victoria Landgraf
  • Victoria Landgraf
  • Edward Wendell
  • Edward Wendell
  • Edward Wendell