Fourth of July visit from US Congress
The members of the Energy and Commerce committee, led by Congressman Greg Walden could enjoy a unique setting for this year’s 4th of July celebration in Longyearbyen at 78´North.
This week we got the chance to host a rather unique Fourth of July celebration when we received members of the U.S. Congress at our ground station in Svalbard.
The huge antenna structures at the Plateau Mountain (Platåfjellet) set the stage when members of the Energy and Commerce committee, led by Congressman Greg Walden, arrived at 78´North.
The delegation is visiting Longyearbyen as part of a trip to Svalbard and Oslo, Norway and was greeted by Svalbard Station Manager Ole Petter Storstad.
At the reception held inside one of the antenna radomes, Storstad told the interested and engaged delegation about how the long and strategic partnership between Norway and US has been instrumental for the establishment and expansion of this unique ground station.
The location so far North is ideal for receiving data from polar orbiting satellites and at this location one can receive all 14 of 14 passes per day.
NASA´s need for data reception at this location led to the construction of the first antenna here in 1997, 20 years ago as a U.S. - Norwegian government initiative. Today this station is the world’s largest of its kind and is the main station for supporting NASA/NOAA Missions, providing time critical information vital to American weather forecasts and Hurricane warnings.
U.S. Congressman Greg Walden and the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee could celebrate Fourth of July inside a radome at the world´s northernmost satellite ground station.