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Tenders invited for two space stations

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FOR PRESS . ' 997


Statement "by the Hon. Peter Hows on, M.P. Acting ' .

Minister for Supply.

The Acting Minister for'Supply (Mr. Peter Howson) said today

that tenders were being invited for operation and maintenance of

space facilities being built at Honeysuckle Creek, near Canberra,

and at Gove, in Arnhem Land, in the north of Australia.

Mr. Howson said the two space stations were being established

for different organisations and were intended for different


The Honeysuckle Creek station was being established for the

TJ.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in support of its Project Apollo, which aimed to place men on the Moon. It was

one of three major facilities now under construction around the

globe for Project Apollo.

For some periods during the manned lunar mission, the

Honeysuckle Creek station would be the only means of communicating with the astronauts during critical, manoeuvres on or near the Moon. This station would be located about thirty-three miles by road south-west of Canberra.

Mr. Howson said the station at Gove was being established for the European Launcher Development Organisation as part of .its initial programme to prove the three-stage Europe l rocket as a . launching vehicle capable of putting a test satellite into orbit.

Gove would be a Down Range Guidance and Tracking Station which would observe the flight of the launching vehicle shortly after lift-off from v ' voomera Range (South Australia). It would calculate the vehicle’s performance and, in later firings, would

issue radio commands for insertion of a satellite into the required orbit. Mr. Howson said the calling of tenders was in furtherance of the Government’s policy of having stati>ns operated by Australian firms for the Department of Supply.

Existing stations established at Carnarvon (Western Australia) and at Tidbinbilla and Orroral Valley in the Australian Capital Territory, in support of the United States space programme, were already being operated successfully by leading Australian firms.

The Minister said construction and equipping of both stations was expected to be completed in ί 966. In common with the other stations, the firms selected would be responsible for operation and maintenance. A resident Station Director from the Department of Supply would be in overall control

of each Station, Mr. Howson said.

Monday, October 11, 1965