NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), a national research organisation in the United States that provides support for robotic space missions and Earth sciences missions, and that is operated by NASA under contract with Caltech, thanked the staff of the MDSCC (Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex) located in Robledo de Chavela, Madrid, for their leadership, technical skills and dedication to the mission entrusted to them during this extremely difficult COVID-19 pandemic, the likes of which is without precedent in history.
NASA and JPL officials Mr Bradford Arnold, Deep Space Network (DSN) Project Manager for JPL, Mr Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA, Mr Douglas Loverro, Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) at NASA, Mr Badri Younes, Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) at NASA, and Mr Larry James, Deputy Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), highlighted the ability of the staff at the Robledo Station in particular, noting their quick actions, decisions and effectiveness throughout this crisis, especially during the blackouts that affected the Station on the night of Holy Thursday and on Sunday, 19 May.
NASA underscored the efficiency demonstrated by management at the Station to ensure the health of all the employees and their families while keeping all the equipment and antennas at the complex operational, thus guaranteeing a constant flow of data from the science missions.
On behalf of the Station, INTA and Isdefe, Mr Moisés Fernández Álvaro, the Director of the MDSCC, thanked NASA and JPL for their recognition of the work done to carry out the mission and for the unconditional support received from the entire Deep Space Network family in the USA and Australia during these months of crisis.
By virtue of the 1964 agreement between Spain and the United States, the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) is responsible for the MDSCC facilities. INTA has, in turn, commissioned Isdefe to operate, maintain and provide technical support for the complex