Aside

Ground station just south of Castle Rock, Colorado?

I was perusing Google Maps earlier today to figure out a route for my motorcycle ride.  I knew Route 11 was going to take me southeast out of Castle Rock, Colorado since I had driven the route before.  During that last drive, I had passed what looked like a nice, paved road heading south–so I looked at it, on Google Maps using satellite view, to see where it went and if it was paved all the way.  It wasn’t paved and eventually headed west back to I-25, so I was ready to give up.  Then I saw this complex:

Who owns this?

Who owns this?

It looks a lot like a satellite operations center.   But what the heck is it doing about five miles south of Castle Rock?

So, I just typed in “ground station south of Castle Rock” on duckduckgo.  I get an address for Intelsat Corp and Panamsat on CitySearch.  Weird.  Which one is it?  Panamsat redirects to Intelsat.com.  Intelsat, for those who don’t know, is in the satellite communications business.  Has been since 1965, according to their history page.    They say they have a fleet (or constellation) of satellites–fifty of them.  If you’d like to see them and the coverage they provide, go to this page, and click on the interactive coverage link.

I figure I should try to stop by it on that road today.

I rode most of this afternoon.  Had some coffee at Dazbog in Castle Rock, then started the return trip on Route 11.  I got to that road, turned south on it and got to the turn off right before the pavement ends.  The turn off is covered in nice new blacktop (which gets exceptionally slick in winter, so good luck with that) and there are a few signs.  One of them indicates the property belongs to DirecTV.  Hmmm.  The other is less interesting–Private Drive, visitors by appointment only.  Okay, so I won’t go down that road–and didn’t.

I drove the rest of Route 11, stopping at the top of the hill to get this picture of the ground station:

WP_20131008_16_02_39_ProClick on image to embiggen.

As you can see, it was a beautiful day.  The dish antennas are about in the upper middle part of the picture.  You can see them better if you zoom in.

Then I continued on to 83 and headed home.

Maybe the site belongs to DirecTV.  But I have addresses for Intelsat.  Sharing arrangement, perhaps?  Anyone who knows more is invited to leave a comment.

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