Apollo 11 Tour 1969

Collins Armstrong and Aldrin pass by wavingNovember 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

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Carnarvon by Jim Crockett

Space and Technology Museum at Carnarvon

Space and Technology Museum at Carnarvon 3

10 July 2015

Jim Crockett posted this on our ex-OTC Facebook Page:I just came back from trip on the Norwest coast of Western Australia on my way to the 31st bi-annual conference of the Australian Speleological Federation that was held at Exmouth. On the way we stopped for a visit to the Space and Technology Museum at Carnarvon at the old OTC Satellite station [and NASA Centre].
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Saving Apollo 11 – erh – no!

Spaceflight-Cover-2014-12Spaceflight Interview.

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 Heritage Interview

Hangout-Ad006Apollo 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

Apollo 11 45th Interview

Hangout 006 GLXP Apollo 11 45thRobert 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 11, 45th Anniversary Memories

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.

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

A Visit to Honeysuckle Creek

hsk_1971_tnMy 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

Apollo Video

Stan Lebar and Apollo cameraStan Lebar

by Robert Brand

With my “Space” work, it has been my privilege to meet many people and communicate with them via the Internet. It is most unfortunate that I did not meet Stan Lebar, but I have corresponded with his family on many occasions and this morning his son Scott sent me a message. Although not relevant to OTC, it has prompted me to post this story.

It was Stan’s cameras that brought us the images from the Apollo missions that OTC relayed through Paddington (Apollo 11) and Moree. Stan’s wife wrote to me thanking me for my support of her husband’s work and Scott Lebar is a newspaper editor but enjoys my Apollo historic stories and often comments on them. Continue reading

Honeysuckle Creek 1971

honeysucklecreek.net

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 at Spacefest IV 2012

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

Apollo 11 Paddington Video

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

Apollo 11 Video and Wayne Ozarko

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

Carnarvon Celebrations

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.

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Jamesburg Earth Station For Sale

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.

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OTC and Apollo 11

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

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Paddington and the Apollo ARIA network

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