Then & Now

The Dish

Stanford University Archives
Early 1960s
Aaron Kehoe

The Dish, a 150-foot-diameter radio telescope in the Stanford foothills, was completed in the 1960s. It was built as a joint venture between the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) and the U.S. Air Force to probe the scattering properties of Earth’s ionosphere. When completed, the Dish was the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. The Dish is still used today for satellite calibrations, spacecraft command and telemetry, and radio astronomy measurements. Left: The Dish during construction in the early 1960s. Right: The Dish against the night sky in 2015.