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Ascension Island
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Ascension Island to become marine reserve

The government is to create a marine reserve almost as big as the UK in the Atlantic waters of Ascension Island.
The reserve totals 234,291 sq km, slightly less than the size of the United Kingdom. It could be ready for formal designation as soon as 2017, once further data has been collected and analysed.

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Tiny tracking site plays gigantic role in space launches

Before Atlantis lifts off on the final shuttle flight, a tiny, little-known team of experts from Patrick Air Force Base will spring into action on a remote, somewhat mysterious island in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
A mere blip on the globe, many local space workers and military personnel have gone to live on the picturesque, but mostly desolate island during five-plus decades to handle critical tracking and communications for hundreds of important U.S. space missions -- from the trail-blazing early missile shots, to John Glenn's first orbit of Earth, to the Apollo moon shots, and the shuttle missions that delivered science and military craft to space and later built the International Space Station.

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Ascension Tracking Station
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Ascension Island is an island in the South Atlantic Ocean.
An ESA station was built there in 1991, as the NASA station providing support to Ariane launches was about to be closed.
The United States maintains a GPS monitor station and missile tracking sites on the island.

Latitude: 7į58'52" S. Longitude: 14į24'49" W.



The Island is a dependency of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, which is 1,200 km to the south, and named after the day of its recorded discovery, Ascension Day.


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In this image from the Ikonos satellite taken on February 24, 2003, marbled-looking lava flows can be seen dominating the northwest coast, with smaller flows visible on the southwest coast below the islandís Wideawake Airfield, as well as on the southeast coast. Northeast of the airstrip, a large cinder cone is visible, its dark brown centre fading to tan is a series of pale rings. This crater, the islandís largest, is called Devilís Riding School.

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