Published: 07/14/2021 5:37:43 PM
The handover of a huge satellite tracking station in New Boston from the Air Force to the new Space Force was completed with the installation of a shield in front of the main gate.
The sign was unveiled at an official ceremony on Monday, completing the transfer announced in December. Today the station is part of the US Space Force Delta 6 – Space Access and Cyberspace Operations, based in Colorado.
It’s one of a number of locations that support government and civil satellites, as well as some rocket flights, including private Space X flights.
The base was originally farmland in New Boston and two neighboring cities. During World War II, the farms were bought so they could be used as training bombardment by Army Air Force pilots flying from Manchester Airport, then called Grenier Field. Elderly locals can remember the planes circling overhead as they aimed at a small pond in the center of the base, and stories are told of children collecting shell casings that fell from the sky while pilots practiced shooting.
The 2,200-acre station is still surrounded by fences with signs warning of “duds,” and on rare occasions old bombs or weapons are found. A 2,000-pound bomb excavated in Joe English Pond in the center of the station exploded a decade ago.
The site is closed to outsiders, although military personnel and veterans are allowed to camp and hunt on portions of the property, most of which are undeveloped.
In 1959, the site began transforming itself into a tracking station with the installation of the first of several radar units, which is now surrounded by large white domes that look like giant golf balls from a distance. In 2009, she moved from the New Boston Satellite Tracking Station to the New Boston Air Force Station.