ASCENSION ISLAND COINS
Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around 1,400 miles from the coast of Brazil, which is roughly midway between the horn of South America and Africa. It is governed as part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The territory also includes the sparsely populated Tristan da Cunha archipelago.
The island is named after the day of its recorded discovery, Ascension Day. It played a role as an important safe haven and coaling station to mariners and for commercial airliners during the days of international air travel by flying boats. During World War II it was an important naval and air station, especially providing antisubmarine warfare bases in the Battle of the Atlantic. Ascension Island was garrisoned by the British Admiralty from 22 October 1815 to 1922.
The island is the location of RAF Ascension Island, a European Space Agency rocket tracking station and the BBC World Service Atlantic Relay Station. The island was used extensively by the British military during the Falklands War. Ascension Island hosts one of four ground antennas that assist in the operation of the GPS navigational system. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United States Air Force operate a Meter Class Autonomous Telescope for tracking orbital debris, which is potentially hazardous to operating spacecraft and astronauts, at a facility called the John Africano NASA/AFRL Orbital Debris Observatory.