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Mariner-mars missions: Australian stations switch roles



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No. 40

FOR PI*S

'i.i: PJi,` i-Li S i:LLS SIO1IS: LU&i'RJLIJai LPIO rS I CIi flOLk;,

(Statement by the T:iinister for Supply, Senator Ken Anderson)

As from 4.15 p.m. ( : W aist. y .u.T.) today, the Dejpa tiient of

E:upply-managed Deep Space Ntations at Island Lagoon and Tidbinbilla

switched their roles in support of twin Y'iner-1.. s missions.

The i,hinister for Supply, L:enator Ken ..nderson, said this in

Sydney today (July 31).

earlier, Island LaLoon was traicki.ng iiariner 6 which was

scheduled to tale 24 close-up photocra1Jhs of Liars today, while ' 'idbinbilla

was tracking i.i; riner 7.

The decision for the stations' switch was taken today after

contact with i:criner 7 was lost for about seven hours before the spacecraft

responded to a conmiand to switch from its high-gain antenna to its o i

(low-gain) antenna.

It was decided that Island Lagoon should track i:iariner 7 because

of that station's experience in tracking 1.1ariner 6. (Until a few days ago

Island Lagoon was the ,^rir.e 1iustrL.li n . station for the i.iariner missions, while

Tidbinbilla was associated with Apollo 11).

Tidbinbilla will now play a more importz::nt role than was planned

originally in receiving scientific and picture data from Liariner 6.

Both stations have a senior Department of Supply officer as

Station Dire ctory SpaceTrack Pty. Ltd. is responsible for operations at

Island Lagoon and Tidbinbilla.

SYP E'Y. Jul y 31, 1969.