Flanking one side is a large stand of tall Norfolk pine, trees planted by British mariners, which were to have been used as replacement masts for sailing ships. No rush", "NASA Range Safety Program – 2007 Annual Report", "Ascension Island. [20] The island was chosen due to its central location in the Atlantic. Having found an area on the south west of the island seemingly less affected, they then had to determine how to move 20 tons of delicate observational equipment to the new location. During World War II, to supply and augment extensive amphibious aircraft antisubmarine patrol operations ongoing from the early days of the war, the United States built an airbase on Ascension Island, known as "Wideawake",[5] after a nearby colony of sooty terns (locally called 'wideawake' birds because of their loud, distinctive constant (day-and-night) cawing chatter). Ascension is een geïsoleerd liggend vulkanisch eiland in de Atlantische Oceaan.Het ligt ongeveer 1600 km uit de kust van Afrika en 2250 km van de Braziliaanse kust. The airfield was used by the US military as a stopping point for American aircraft crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the way to theatres of operation in Europe and Africa. It is a haven for sea birds providing refuge from the rats, cats and people that came to Ascension Island from Europe and Africa. Over 60 specimens were then successfully cultivated. Those flights now travel via Cape Verde. It has thrived on the barren lava of the island – an estimated 38,000 bushes existed by 2016. He noted the care taken to sustain "houses, gardens & fields placed near the summit of the central mountain," and cisterns at roadsides to provide drinking water. We have reviews of the best places to see in Ascension Island… Endemic insect species include the minute, wingless Psocopteran Troglotroctes ashmoleorum, that has been found in caves and between lava blocks. The rugged island is barren in many places, and has no indigenous human population. This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 13:11. Ascension Island had an estimated population of 806 in 2016, which included 556 people from Saint Helena and 250 people of other nationalities. A volcanic peak rising from 100 km (62 mi) west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, much of the island is a wasteland of lava flows and cinder cones; forty-four distinct dormant craters have been identified. Sports and recreation Ascension : Councillors Response to Article - Ascension Island – Why should we bother? The inhabitants feel no need to lock up their houses or to remove their car keys from the ignition. The first Island Council of seven members was elected, and took office on 1 November 2002. Prosopis juliflora, a type of mesquite known as Mexican thorn, was introduced by BBC engineers to bind the dry top soil when they arrived in 1966 to construct a shortwave relay station. Status: British dependent territory, claimed 1653. Birds for which the IBA is significant include red-billed tropicbirds, Ascension frigatebirds (an endemic breeder), sooty terns and black noddies. It is governed as part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha,[2] of which the main island, Saint Helena, is around 800 miles (1,300 km) to the southeast. Due to the strong currents and huge waves, only some sheltered beaches allow safe swimming; several swimming pools compensate for this shortage. The field campaign requires the mobile facility to be operational for about 17 months until October 2017. Scouting was established on Ascension Island in November 1973,[71] having been established on St Helena island in 1912. [30], In 2008 British diplomats at the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (UN CLCS), requested sovereignty over 200,000 km2 (77,220 sq mi) of submarine territory around the island. Its highest point is at 859 m.[11] Non-indigenous plants teem there, and the crown of Green Mountain is a lush halo of bamboo. The British government has confirmed that there is no "right of abode" on Ascension Island. [14], Beginning in July 1877, the astronomer Sir David Gill and his wife Isobel spent six months on Ascension Island. A secondary export is the international internet domain code .ac, which small UK educational colleges and science museums are favouring due to its similarity to .ac.uk, the domain code reserved for well-established UK educational institutions. An Airbus A330 aircraft operated by AirTanker Services on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) carried out those flights, called the South Atlantic Air Bridge, although a limited number of commercial passenger tickets were available. In 2019, the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee published its report Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship, following an investigation into the relationship between the UK and the Overseas Territories. Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island, 7°56′ south of the Equator in the South Atlantic Ocean. [80] AW Ship Management arranged for civilians to board RAF flights to and from RAF Ascension Island and RAF Brize Norton. The airbase fell into disuse following the American departure at the end of World War II. These currents bring cooling effects around the eastern South Atlantic Ocean. Some of the road surfacing used was surplus tarmac from a previous airstrip construction operation. However, Ascension Island has no permaent residents, but rather anyone living on the islan… The coins of the Saint Helena pound specify that they are for use on both Saint Helena and Ascension Island, but with no mention of Tristan da Cunha, whereas the banknotes only say “Government of St. Helena”. [39][40][41], The endemic flora includes plants like Pteris adscensionis, Asplenium ascensionis, Euphorbia origanoides as well as the extinct species Oldenlandia adscensionis, Sporobolus durus and Dryopteris ascensionis. Ascension Island's green sea turtles. The workforce of the RAF lives at Traveller’s Hill and those who work for the U.S. Army stay at Cat Hill. Tropical cyclones also occur only rarely in the South Atlantic Ocean which might be caused by the same phenomenon, and by strong vertical wind shear. Four years later, Hooker, with much encouragement from Darwin, advised the Royal Navy that with the help of Kew Gardens, they should institute a long-term plan of shipping trees to Ascension. The territory also includes the sparsely populated Tristan da Cunha archipelago, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) to the south, about halfway to the Antarctic Circle. The island has a long history as a communications hub for telephone and radio communications and as a base for satellite tracking stations, including a NASA station built in the 1960s that no longer operates. [5] Dry and barren, the island had little appeal for passing ships except for collecting fresh meat, and was not claimed for the Portuguese Crown. By the late 1870s Norfolk pines, eucalyptus, bamboo, and banana trees grew in profusion at the highest point of the island, Green Mountain, creating a tropical cloud forest. For the Canadian islands, see, Location of Ascension Island in the southern, Lienhard, 1996, Psocoptères nouveaux ou peu connus de quelques îles atlantiques (Canaries, Madère, Açores, Ascension) et de l'Afrique du Nord (Insecta: Psocoptera), Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal (Historia Natural) 48(267), Constituent part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility, List of mountains and hills of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Governor of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Scouting and Guiding on Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Communications in Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Pound sterling in the South Atlantic and the Antarctic, Education in Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Index of Ascension Island–related articles, "The St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009", https://www.ascension.gov.ac/section/history, "Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha", "Charles Darwin's ecological experiment on Ascension isle", "Saint Helena, Ascension, Tristan da Cunha. [11], Ascension is a geologically young formation, the tip of an undersea volcano which rose above the waves only a million years ago. [11] The Island Council advises on new or revised laws. Both claimed in 1908; territories formed in 1962 (British Antarctic Territory) and 1985 (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands). To date the UK Government has not responded to the committee's recommendation. The Portuguese navigator Juan de Nova initially discovered the island in 1501 during an expedition to India, giving it the name “Ilha de Nossa Señora de Conceiçao” (“The Island of Our Lady of the Conception”), There is neither any theft nor any attack. The EEZ covers an area of over 440,000 square km, making it one of the largest in the world. There has never been an indigenous population on the island.[66]. Fuel for the island is transferred via a floating hose, which is connected to the on-shore depot at the island's pier head and to the ship at anchor. Ascension Island has a population of 880 people, Ascension Island's capital city is Georgetown and largest city Georgetown. Until 2002, tourism was virtually non-existent because of the inaccessibility of the island to transport, the absence of guest accommodation and the need for a sponsor. Ascension has one local radio station and one relayed from St. Helena. The Portuguese also introduced goats as a potential source of meat for future m… Out of the 1’100 inhabitants of the island, 700 come from St-Helena. The community does not tolerate any offence and this helps to win respect among each other. It also receives broadcasts from the British Forces Broadcasting Service and television services for the US military. [10], The location of the island made it a useful stopping-point for ships and communications. [28] As of 2007[update] NASA continued to list Ascension Island as a "downrange site" used for range safety instrumentation. Named after the day of its recorded discovery, Ascension of Jesus, Ascension Island was an important safe haven and coaling station to both mariners and commercial airliners back in the days of international air travel by flying boats. The main economic activity on the island is centred on the military bases at Wideawake Airfield, and the BBC World Service's Atlantic Relay station. The European Space Agency (ESA) also has a tracking station on the island that tracks the Ariane 5 and the Soyuz rockets shortly after their launch from Kourou in French Guiana. A cost of food score of 1 indicates most expensive while a 10 represents cheapest. The Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009 was made by HM the Queen and the Privy Council on 8 July and came into operation in September 2009. Two Boats School is the only school on the island and provides education to all children aged 3–16. With the Space Race and the Cold War, the Americans returned in 1956. [25][26] The island retains a role in space exploration: the European Space Agency now operates an Ariane monitoring facility there. The Ministry of Defence estate and facilities are managed by the infrastructure support provider Interserve Defence. Mariners could hunt for the numerous seabirds and the enormous female green turtles that laid their eggs on the sandy beaches. "[57] The counter-argument was that, as the island has no indigenous population whatsoever, it is in an unusual political position. . Ascension Island key facts The volcanic island has no indigenous population, and the people that live there - fewer than 1,000 - are the employees and families of … There are around 40 kilometres (25 mi) of roads on the island, all hard-surfaced,[11] along with many unsurfaced paths and trails. [36] Due to the low rainfall and geologically recent eruptions, its soil consists mostly of clinker. [5], The Island was under direct control of the Board of Admiralty until 1923.[19]. The planted trees would capture more rain and improve the soil, allowing the barren island to become a garden. Sites were chosen due to their proximity to orbital paths—generally along the Equator. The Ascension crake became extinct around the beginning of the nineteenth century. [8] British mariners found the Dutchman's tent, belongings and diary in January 1726; the man's remains were not found. It has, however, its own dangers: sheep or donkeys have a disturbing tendency to roam across roads without prior warning, especially at dawn! This unusually pleasant freedom is, however, rarely noticed in our civilisation. Interestingly, none of the citizens are indigenous to Ascension Island. The Portuguese also introduced goats as a potential source of meat for future mariners. However, this change should not necessarily imply that the practice of St. Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha sharing the same Governor should come to an end.[64]. Ascension Island is a tiny leftover of empire, a volcanic island 700 miles from anywhere. [citation needed] Fort Bedford, a two-gun shore battery at Cross Hill, above Georgetown, fired on the submarine. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ascension_Island&oldid=993966796, Islands of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, States and territories established in 1815, States and territories established in 1922, 1922 establishments in the British Empire, English-speaking countries and territories, Former British colonies and protectorates in Africa, Articles lacking reliable references from May 2020, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using infobox settlement with bad settlement type, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2016, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2004, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2007, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2018, Articles with failed verification from May 2018, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Ascension has no native population, since before the arrival of Europeans, the island was completely uninhabited: the possibility to live on Ascension Island is subject to the availability of a job, without which people are sent back to the respective country of origin. [20] The United States Air Force used the island as part of its Eastern Range. Instead, the population is made up of employees of the organisations operating on the island. [50], After cats were introduced to Ascension Island in 1815, large seabird breeding colonies were quickly wiped out everywhere except in small cat-inaccessible areas, such as on the offshore Boatswain Bird Island. 15. Details. [46], Off the east coast of Ascension is the islet of Boatswain Bird Island. [63] In practice the Administrator is the head of the Ascension Island Government and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Government. Dry and barren, the island had little appeal for passing ships except for collecting fresh meat, and was not claimed for the Portuguese Crown. Although originally based in Georgetown, the pair found the evenings to be too cloudy to make observations of the night sky due to Georgetown being located downwind of orthographic cloud emanating from Green Mountain.

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