Apollo 11, 45th Anniversary Memories Pt2

aria_console_sydneyApollo Range Instrumented Aircraft (ARIA)

As the capsule reenters  the Earth’s atmosphere, the dishes that were used to communicate with Apollo 11 become useless. They cannot “see” the craft and it is thus a different method of communications that  needs to be used. This was done through the ARIA aircraft.

The craft did much more than just provide communications with the spacecraft. They were equipped with Optical system that allowed the aircraft to film the capsules reentry

Since Australia was very close to the splashdown area, the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) provided control facilties for the aircraft.

The photo above is ARIA console at the OTC Paddington terminal in Sydney 2009.

Top: J.N. Hodgson, foreground: A.H. Griffiths, right: B.W. Collett.

From on OTC publication.

Footnote: Please note that I worked with all three of these people. Ed

The Aircraft:





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