by Robert Brand
For many years now I have been both helping and also indebted to the team from Honeysuckle Creek for their diligence and time researching many of the space programs that they were involved in. More importantly they have spent significant time documenting some of the space history of OTC. Their website has many pictures and interviews with OTC staff and also details the involvement of many OTC stations including Paddington, Moree and Carnarvon. It in fact has many details not available on this site or the OTVA site.
I did not know the guys from Honeysuckle Creek back then, but these days I have significant contact with them. Colin Mackellar is one of those people and I speak with him every few months. He runs the Honeysuckle Creek website and that is him pictured above. He says: “I’m outside the main fence at Honeysuckle Creek on 9th October 1971. The main gate is to the left…” This was 2 years after the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon and in the middle of the remainder of the Apollo Moon missions.
That is Colin Mackellar again, standing at the sign at the beginning of what is now called “Apollo Road”, leading up to Honeysuckle Creek – in October 1971.
I had had a minor role in wiring up some of the NASA equipment in Sydney (IMC Paddington) for Apollo 11 during my second year as a Technician-In-Training and had taken an interest in the Honeysuckle Creek site since it was the first site to take the feed of the Moon walk and first steps of Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface. One week I decided to take a drive to Canberra and visit a few places, including Honeysuckle Creek. Although the site is now long gone and the dish moved to NASA’s Tidbinbilla site, I remember that trip and even the roads to the site. The dish was put into service at Tidbinbilla and only recently was decommissioned. It remains at the site in permanent stow as a monument.
That is me (left) and some friends at the gate to the site. The dish is in the background. it was 21st March 1971. The dish is up behind the trees. That Corolla was my pride and joy back then a great reliable car that lasted about 20 years as I often saw it around the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Yes I was on P Plates.
Want to know more about OTC’s role in space? Honeysuckle Creek Net does a fantastic job. If anyone from the OTVA would like to reprint a story, they should get in contact with Colin.
The Honeysuckle Creek site: http://honeysucklecreek.net/
Carnarvon: Click Here
How the Moonwalk was seen live in Western Australia: Click Here
OTC Carnarvon Today (before recently opening as museum): Click Here
Apollo Missions and Sydney Video: Click Here
OTC Carnarvon Menu Page: Click Here
TV From the Moon 21sy July 1959: Click Here
Interviews – Wayne Ozarko: Click Here
ARIA: Click Here
Down Under Comes Up Live: Click Here