November 1st 1969 Sydney Australia
by Robert Brand
I just came across these photos from the Apollo 11 crew that toured Sydney following the moon landing. I think that they were taken on a Kodak Box Brownie that I just happened to have. I remember that I was not planning on taking photos and then just decided it was too historic.
I was 17 and I, along with many others, wired up some of the Apollo 11 comms gear at OTC Paddington in Sydney. The tour had a special significance because of the little bit of work that we all did at Paddo. I had to take my place on a Sydney street along with everyone else to snap a few seconds on the Apollo 11 Astronauts driving by at a rather fast pace. I was on the Corner of King St and Elizabeth Street in the heart of Sydney. Continue reading
As most of my old ex-otc mates know, I am heavily involved in the space sector and even bump into Bill Barrett occasionally. I recently had this interview published in Spaceflight magazine. Note that I did NOT put the title on the page “Saving Apollo 11”, nor did I say anything so stupid – seems the editor thought that a nice touch. It was in a prestigious UK space magazine: “Spaceflight”
My words are very tame in the interview in that regard. My friend Nick Howes (the interviewer) from the UK also thinks I am being humble when I tell him I didn’t do much other than wiring. I was asked by Wayne Ozarko to lend a hand along with fellow trainee Paul Davies (never heard from Paul since he went to the UK around 1970). Editors want to sell magazines. They embellish the facts. Continue reading
Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Hangout – Apollo Heritage and the GLXP.
by Robert Brand
Well the Apollo Heritage event is over and I had a lot of fun with the interview or should I say “armchair chat”. It was a very comfortable discussion. I am excited to tell you that there is a video of the event. It was recorded and the link is below. I must say that I am very taken with Dr. Pamela L. Gay (the host) and her interview style. I was never left with a feeling of “what will happen next”. Continue reading
Robert Brand is a Special Guest for Apollo 11 GLXP Hangout
Not much to say, but to follow the link below and be part of the Apollo 11 special event for the Google Lunar X Prize Team Hangout.
I will be discussing my experiences wiring up the Apollo 11 gear in Sydney – not that this was an amazing event, but since I am part of a group building a mission to go to the moon with a Rover, it appears that I am about the only person in the GLXP with a connection to the Apollo 11 event. Continue reading
Apollo 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. Continue reading
Photo by Richard Holl (L-R) Ted Knotts, Dick Holl and Elmer Fredd standing in front of the Parkes Scanconverter at OTC Paddington following the mission
An Explosion in the Scan-converter.
by Robert Brand
A few weeks before the launch of Apollo 11, the scan-converter at OTC Paddington in Sydney exploded when it was switched on by NASA‘s Richard Holl following a test. The explosion occurred because the scan-converter was wrongly rewired one evening. Continue reading
My Return to Honeysuckle Creek
It had been 42 years since I visited Honeysuckle Creek. I was still a teenager at the time – 19 years old. I had just been working on comms for Apollo missions and had completed a lot of work wiring up comms for Apollo 11 gear at OTC Paddington. I had been on a pilgrimage to know ground zero zero for the reception of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon – Honeysuckle Creek. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
OTC’s Space History on Display.
by Robert Brand.
Many of you may not know that I have recently moved (partially) into the Space sector, but I am not talking about just comms. I am talking about designing and engineering a space mission. In mid September I will announce the details of a mission I have become deeply involved in that will see probes land on another planet. Continue reading
ABC coverage showing Paddington during Apollo 11
I just spotted this video with more shots of the Apollo 11 gear at Paddington. It is with credit to ABC TV. Not a lot to say about this, but it was broadcast the day before the Apollo 11 moon landing. The video quality is extremely good for the era but since it was for Australian TV at the time it was all black and white. There are also shots of Honeysuckle Creek. Continue reading
Search For Apollo 11 tapes
As many will know there has been a concerted effort to find the Apollo 11 video data tapes. The NASA files were apparently over-written in an attempt by NASA to save on computer tape. There were other copies made here in Australia but the problem is that no-one has any idea where the digital tapes were stored or even if they were destroyed or not. Continue reading
June 22 & 23, Buzz Aldrin will be in Carnarvon
The opening of the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum
This is a big story for the exOTC staffers. The preservation of these sites is a huge leap forward over the dishes that were left rust and corrode at Carnarvon. I so wish I could make it for the celebrations but I expect that there will be a few exOTC staff in the area and traveling for the big event.
Robert Brand and Jamesburg Earth Station.
It was about when I was 17 years old that I (Robert Brand) first heard of Jamesburg Earth Station. I was a second year trainee at the Dept of Civil Aviation Regional Training School at Waverton and assigned to the International Maintenance Centre (IMC) at Paddington for field training. I was asked to wiring up some Apollo 11 jumpering for Wayne Ozarko and I learned of this site as the received dish for the transmissions from Moree for the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Apollo 11 40th anniversary Celebrations
This article was published by me (Robert Brand) as part of the Apollo 11 celebrations. The OTVA and OTC stories were told to the world through many media including radio.
This was published 40 year after Apollo 11 took off and it was 57 hours into the relived flight:
Apollo 11 right now (minus 40 years) and 57+ hours into the mission
Skip back 40 years to the minute with Apollo 11
Apollo 11 and The Role of the ARIA Aircraft.
At 182+ hours into the flight of Apollo 11, the capsule, for the first time, will reenter with lift vector “up”. It is normally down, but they want to extend the range 250 miles. This is a last minute change to correct for the slight error made by not being in the center of the reentry window and bad weather in the landing area if uncorrected. The capsule will sort of “skip” a bit off the atmosphere. In other words the Apollo capsules has some limited steer-ability in this vector. A bit like skimming a stone over water. Continue reading