visual tracking station

Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station

The Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station is a United States Air Force military installation in Kaena Point on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It is a remote tracking station of the Air Force Satellite Control Network responsible for tracking satellites in orbit, many of which belong to the United States Department of Defense, receiving and processing data and in turn, controlling satellites by sending commands. The station originally opened in 1959 to support the highly classified Corona satellite program. In fact, there is evidence that suggests the station's presence and use for Corona may have sped the statehood of Hawai'i.

Detachment 4, 22d Space Operations Squadron, part of the 50th Space Wing, operates Hawaii Tracking Station (HTS, callsign HULA) on the site. It was constructed in 1959, one of three built that year. The facility is placed on the western-most point of the island of Oahu, atop a high ridge. Originally, the facility only had one large, exposed antenna. Today it has many smaller radomes and access roads up and around the ridge.

Yokohama Bay state park is at the base of the ridge, with a hiking trail that goes to the point and around to the northern side of the ridge, to Mokuleia Beach. By permit (see below), the station roadways provide access is allowed to state hiking and hunting trails, as well as a camping site about inland called Peacock Flats. Permits to get on station to hike, hunt, or camp can be obtained from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources in downtown Honolulu.

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