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Magnificent Australian support of Apollo 11



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NO. 35 525

FOR PRESS CANBERRA, 22nd Jul y , 1969

"MAGNIFICENT AUSTRALIAN SUPPORT OF AP 9LLO 11"

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

"Australian—staffed stations had performed magnificently in bringing yesterday's historic Apc;llo 11 telecast to the world and in communicating with the three astronauts."

The Minister for Supply, Senator Ken Anderson, said this in Canberra today (July 22).

H e said: "All Australians can be proud. of the Apollo 11 role played by the tracking stations at Carnarvon, Honeysuckle Creek and Tidbinbilla and by the CSIRO's 210—ft. radio telescope at Parkes."

(The three tracking stations are managed by the Department of Supply on behalf of NASA. The Department provides the Station Directors and the contractors at the stations are Amalgamated fireless Australasia Ltd., Standard Telephones and Cables Pty. Ltd.

and SpaceTrack Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Hawker de Havilland. Australia Pty. Ltd.)

The Minister said: "Equally important was the part played by the NASA Communications Center at Deakin (Canberra), which is staffed by my Department.

"I wish to thank all staff members at these facilities for their complete dedication and their wonderful response during yesterday's critical phases."

"The support of the Australian Post Office and of the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (Australia), by supplying the communications links with the U.S., has also been a great contribution to the Apollo 11 flight.

"The Australian Broadcasting Commission and the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations combined to furnish back—u p outside—broadcast links, some of w ich carried the actual Apollo 11 TV signals.

"Yesterday from 12.51 — 1.02 p.m. both Honeysuckle Creep-and Goldstone (U.S.) received the Apollo 11 .ecast from the surface of the moon."

"Both stations fed the signals to the Mission Control Center at Houston, Texas, U.S., from which they were relayed via satellite to the world TV pool (Honeysuckle's signals were split off in Sydney for direct transmission to Australian TV stations)."

"This period included Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon at 12 hrs. 56 min. 2C sec."

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"From 1,.02 p.m., until the end of the transmission at 5.57 p.m. the world saw the Appilo 11 telecast via Parkes (its video signals were also split off in Sydney for direct relay to Australian TV networks'".

"For several hours during crucial phases yesterday, Honeysuckle Creek and Tidbinbilla had voice and telemetry cont'.act with one or both of the Apollo 11 spacecraft."

"In addition, Carnarvon sent commands to two scientific experiments (EASEP) which Armstrong and Aldrin placed on the lunar surface during their walk."