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210-ft - diameter antenna to be built at Tidbinbilla



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2 0-LI°T.-DIAMET 1R APTI TINA TO BE BUILT AT TIDBINBILLA

Australia has agreed to the buildin of a 210-ft.-diameter

antenna on the site of the Deep Space Station at Tidbinbilla, near

Canberra.

A spokesman for the Department of Supply said this in Canberra

tonight (July 4).

He said: "As the Minister for Supply (Senator Ken Anderson)

announced on December 13, 1968, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space

Administration (NASA) sought permission from Australia to build such an

antenna.

"Approval has now been given, and NASA has awarded a contract

for the construction of the antenna to the Collins Radio Co. of

Richardson, Texas.

"This will be the first 210-ft. "big dish" to be erected for

NASA in Australia. NASA already has one at Goldstone in California;

a third one will be built near 1 .1adrid, Spain, simultaneously with the

one at Tidbinbilla.

"Combined, the three big antennas will be able to communicate

with the American spacecraft that are scheduled to explore deep space in

the 1970s and 1980s, including the Viking spacecraft planned for

orbiting and landing missions on Mars.

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"The new antennas, expected to cost about 310m. each,

will be fabricated in the. U.S. and shipped to their overseas locations.

The 5,000-ton reinforced concrete pedestals, on which the antennas will

be mounted, will be constructed on site.

"Fabrication is expected to got underway towards the end of

this year, with the systems becoming operational in 1973."

CANBERRA, July 4, 1969.