NASA Administrator, Charlie Bolden, visited Madrid, Spain the week of September 24, 2012. The purpose of his visit was to thank the Spanish Government for nearly a half century of support to NASA in communications and tracking and three decades of support for the Space Shuttle Program. Charlie also visited the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex (MDSCC) and spent several hours touring the facility, Visitor Center and meeting the staff. Charlie enthusiastically discussed the technical systems with key staff members at MDSCC. The last time a NASA Administrator visited the facility was in February 1999.
The Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex is one of three facilities that makes up NASA's Deep Space Network. The other two facilities are located in Goldstone, California and Canberra, Australia and are managed by the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program.