Apollo 11 moon landing – just don't believe the movie


But there was no doubting where the public's imagination was focused. Conversation as the week progressed by the men hurtling towards the moon. Fashion models from an agency in Sydney displayed suitable outfits for 'Moonwear' (possibly a bit scant for the Sea of ​​Tranquility where overnight temperatures can dip to minus 173 C).


Even Column Eight got on the act: If you are feeling slightly bewildered by all this moon science and computerization, take heart. Says an American psychology professor: "The human brain is a honey of a computer." That's a comfort then.

The Herald's front page picture story had this:' The Parkes radio-telescope, Australia's major contribution to the Apollo moon shot, is all set to receive television pictures of man's first steps on the moon. The links with the Mission Control Center at Houston, Texas, will be tested yet again tomorrow. '

But that wasn't quite the way it turned out. The movie is based on watching the 2001 film The Dish (Sam Neill) then you will need to revise your history.

Parkes certainly did relay images of Neil Armstrong as he left the lunar module and prepared to take one "small step". But the first images were relayed in a live feed to about 60 million viewers for the first eight minutes. It doesn't merit much mention in the movie.

Honeysuckle Creek in the Namadgi National Park is the end of a remote winding track called Apollo Road. Despite being at the forefront of interplanetary communications half a century ago, today there's no mobile phone cover to contact the NRMA, at modest 30 kilometers away in Canberra.

Models parade moon fashions in the Sydney CBD on July 14, 1969, in the lead-up to the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Models parade moon fashions in the Sydney CBD on July 14, 1969, in the lead-up to the Apollo 11 Moon landing.Credit:SMH

When you get there, there's not much left to see. The Honeysuckle dish (not as big as Parkes) has been moved to the left of the office building.

I know why use a smaller dish than big brother at Parkes? The reason was that Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin That was the first thing to do in the future.

On Saturday the ACT government will celebrate the crucial role Honeysuckle Creek played with the commemorative artworks displaying those historic words "One small step …" US Ambassador to Australia Arthur B Culvahouse Jr and Australian born NASA astronaut Dr Andrew Thomas will be there.

I will be working on the tracking station, including Michael Dinn who was director of the time and now in his 80s.

  Mike Dinn, former deputy director at Honeysuckle Creek with the dish now relocated to Tidbinbilla.

Mike Dinn, former deputy director at Honeysuckle Creek with the dish now relocated to Tidbinbilla.Credit:Karleen Minney

His Canberra living room is a celebration of all things lunar. The small round rug in front of the moon. All work surfaces are covered by anniversary invites, brochures, books and more. There's a commemoration collector's set of coins issued by the Royal Australian Mint. There's Mike in the background on the one dollar coin.

Does it bother him that Parkes got the kudos? "Sort of … yes and no. They had the wrong information up at the Parkes telescope for 20 years. I was visiting there regularly and I didn't mind making an issue of it. I've got a webpage called 'The Truth about The Dish '. That summarises the inaccuracies but better than nothing.

"Number two, it's an entertaining movie. Three, it is about 70 or 80 for accurate cents, it's just inaccurate in the one regard, which is a point of view,

"The man's signal was appreciably better and both of our signals were made into on the send to Houston." in Sydney called Houston: "I've got a good picture from Parkes, do you want it?" And the man at Houston said, "Yes, that's the best picture yet."

David Cooke Radio Receiver Monitoring the Signal at Parkes at the Time Said They Had Two Beams, a standby beam and a main beam. "We first of all picked it up on the standby beam," he said.

David Cooke, radio engineer at Parkes Observatory.

David Cooke, radio engineer at Parkes Observatory.Credit:John M Sarkissian

"Afterwards, when we had finished the track, I went outside, I had a picture, I looked up and saw the moon and I thought that's pretty amazing. hope we get them back. "

Do you have a Sydney story of watching man walk in the moon? If I know, we'd like to hear from you. [email protected]

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