In July 1969 the words ”Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed” were beamed from outer space down to the Rosman Tracking Station.
From there these words were transmitted throughout the world, announcing that the United States had just put a person on the moon.
What you might not have known was that the Rosman Tracking Station wasn’t located in Houston - but instead tucked away in the remote 500,000 acre large Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.
Since those famous words were heard around the world, the Rosman Tracking Station has been home to many uses including an NSA station during the cold war.
In 1995 the Department of Defense closed the base due to budget constraints and in 1998 the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, or PARI, was founded. The following year the former base was opened to the public for research and tours.
While planning our visit to PARI, one thing became clear: the sheer size of the radio antennas was going to be a challenge to convey in a photo. (Since PARI is a learning institute, we figured we’d drop some learning here in regards to choosing a focal length for this specific challenge.)