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Orroral valley to support new orbiting solar observatory



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No. 43 563

FOR PR,SS

ORRORIL VALLEY T3 S[TPPOI .' Y: 7 CRFITIITG SOLAR 0l3,S RV ATOrY

(Statement by the Iiinister for Supply, Senator Ken Anderson)

The Department of Supply-managed S`! D-Ld (Space Tracking And Data

Acquisition Network) Station at Orroral Valley (A.C.T.) will play an important

part in supporting NASA's Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO-G) scheduled to be

launched from Cape Kennedy at 5 p.m. (Rust. .S.T.) today (August 8).

The l.anister for Supply, Senat-or Yen Anderson, said this in Sydney

today.

Senator Anderson said: 'For nearly four years Orroral Valley has

been closely associated with various unmanned scientific satellites which give

the world invaluable practical information on conditions affecting everyone,

including data which contribute to the safety of astronauts."

Today's launching means a continuation for Orroral Valley of its

association with the 030 project by providing tracking, telemetry and command

support for this, the sixth spacecraft in the series.

In conjunction with the ST D1d1 Station at Johannesbuzg (South Africa),

Orroral. Valley for the first tii:te will play a key role in the controlled

"switch on" of the many sections of each of the seven scientific experiments

carried by the spacecraft.

This "switch on", which will be spread over about five days, will

begin 12 hours after lift-off.

In this period, staff at both stations will proceed through a step-by-step "switch on" command sequence whenever the spacecraft is above their

horizons.

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Simultaneously, telemetry data froii OSO's experiments will be

received at the stations.

These data will be transmitted in real time via the world-wide NASA

communications network to scientists at the OSO Control Center at Goddard Space.

Plight Center, i.aryland, U . S.

The information will enable the scientists to ensure correct progress

of the "switch on".

In the past few days the sta ff at Orroral Valley have been busy

installing and checking special equipment flown in from the U.S. for this task.

In mid-July the Tracking and Data -acquisition I,Ianager for the OSO

project visited Orroral Valley to brief the staff with vhom he will be working so

closely —but at a distance of 12,000 riles — during this critical please of the

OSO-G mission.

The 640-lb. spacecraft is planned to go into a circular 350 -mile orbit

above the earth.

Experiments carried by OSO-G, as a continuation of earlier OSO

scientific objectives, are designed to study evolutionary changes in various

features of the sun, with special emphasis on solar active regions.

These experiments will operate during a time of near-peak activity in

the current 11-year solar cycle.

Understanding the mechanics of the sun is of vital importance, not only

to science but to all mankind.

Only a slight increase in solar energy could melt the polar ice caps

and submerge vast areas of the world; a :]i.ght decrease in energy could bring about

another ice age.

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Solar storms disrupt conn_nanications and navigation systems.

The sun's enormous gravitational attraction affects everything in the solar

system.

The Orroral Valley Station is maintained and operated by L.M.I.

Electronics (Australia) Pty. Ltd., under contract to the Department of Supply.

SYDiI Y. August 8. 1969 .