When the rockets and space craft soar out over the Pacific, the Navy's tracking ship "Wheeling" puts her powerful radar into action.
Aerial views, missile tracking ship at sea. LS & CMS.
CS. Maltese cross antenna, searching.
On deck of ship. LS of big dish antenna turning, with anchor winch in fg. CU of dish antenna turning.
Man peers into radar scope, sees space craft being tracked.
CU hand turns antenna crank. 3-shot at telemetry readouts. CU moving graph. CU technician reacts. 2-shot at tracking computer.
On the bridge of ship, Captain signals engine room. Helmsman wheels hard left. Captain peers thru binoculars.
CU exotic lights of navigation gear, and PAN to guy making notes.
MS technician working telemetry. CU telemetry readout.
4-shot men at large radar consol. CU radar scope with tracking dot.
MS aerial view as ship turns slightly. CU waffle antenna scans sky.
FS interior operations control of Wheeling. CU finger pushes input button. 2-shot at control panel. CU count-down numbers tick off.
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Background: When the rockets and space craft soar out over the Pacific, the Navy's tracking ship "Wheeling" puts her powerful radar into action.
Her big parabolic radar reaches 32-thousand miles into space...penetrating the ion sheath that commonly blacks out re-entering space vehicles.
The "Wheeling's" immensely complex electronic systems...and those of four similar tracking ships...are manned by the technicians of Federal Electric Corporation, Paramus, New Jersey...the service arm of International Telephone and Telegraph.
The ship cruises the Pacific Missile Range as far away as the Marshall Islands...yet her navigation gear can fix her position within a few yards.
The "Wheeling" is one of the world's most advanced tracking and communication centers.
Her aerospace sailors run simulated exercises to assure peak performance...to check and double-check accuracy.
They're building up to those few minutes of actual tracking time when they and their equipment must record, translate, store, and transmit huge amounts of electronic data..preparing for those crucial moments when the success of a multi-million dollar space mission depends on their efforts.