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Tracking Apollo: 50 years since the Moon landing
July 1, 2019 @ 9:00 am - August 18, 2019 @ 5:00 pm AEST
The Apollo 11 Moon landing was a triumph of global collaboration and scientific research. Across the world, hundreds of thousands of people contributed to its success, including many Australians.
The Honeysuckle Creek tracking station, just outside of Canberra, was part of an international network supporting the Apollo Missions. Its specialist staff, known as trackers, enabled real-time communication between NASA and the astronauts in deep space.
As part of its Tracking Apollo: 50 years since the Moon landing exhibition, the National Museum of Australia will have a fragment of a rock brought back from the Apollo 17 Moon mission on display. This also forms part of the Canberra’s new Moonrock Trail.
‘Sample 70017’ was distributed to 135 foreign heads of state, with a message of world peace in 1973. It recognised Australia’s contribution to the Apollo program, which included its three ACT based NASA tracking stations, which maintained communications with spacecraft.
Equipment from the Honeysuckle Creek station will also be on display at the exhibition, including the antenna’s track ball and a tracker’s headset, along with some commemorative memorabilia. A large console from the Orroral Valley tracking station, now part of the National Museum’s collection, will also be on display.