Message posted by Eagle Scout on May 19, 2016 at 18:52:48 PST:
That is, as tagboard noted, the NRTF. They definitely have access to satellite comms, but that's not what the big dish antenna is for. It's the low-frequency antenna of the RCS range antenna array. It's pointed up when not in use because that eases the load on the mechanical bits & pieces. It's referred to as "bird feeder mode."
In Reply to: "Secret Runway" at NW edge of White Sands? posted by Brian L on May 19, 2016 at 12:11:14 PST: