Ceduna Drop In 1987

Ceduna, on the Way to the Nullabor

John Oxley, Robert Brand, Julie Thomas (friend) and Jeff Hinwood

by Robert Brand

Three OTC staff and a friend were off to the Nullabor for a 2 week caving adventure and as I did 2 years earlier, I dropped by with the team one sunny day to say hello and to see the station up close.

It was hot, a stinker, and we were glad to actually get into a nice cool air conditioned building. My 4WD did not have air conditioning so it was a simply fantastic to have an hour in the cool of the Ceduna building in the middle of the day.

Continue reading

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Personal Spacecraft in Orbit

kicksatKickSat Mothership Achieves Orbit.

by Robert Brand

Remember the small prototype of a KickSat (photo right)? I wrote about it in an earlier post. In mid April, 2014 it was tucked inside its mothership and that was inside the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that blasted into orbit with the ISS resupply cargo module.

Wikipedia says:This was the SpaceX CRS-3, a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, contracted to NASA, which was launched on 18 April 2014. It was the 5th flight for SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft and the third SpaceX operational mission contracted to NASA under a Commercial Resupply Services contract.” Continue reading

UTAS and Ceduna

The Ceduna Radio Telescope

by Robert Brand

Before I mention what has been done at Ceduna, let me tell you I have had many calls / emails with NBN Co about their error with the closing date for Ceduna. At their request I had to dig into the internet and find credible references to prove to them the real date. That has been done, but as of tonight, the date in the press release from NBN Co has not been corrected.

I came across this item in an article by the University of Tasmania that uses one of the dishes from Ceduna. Telstra shifted the other one (Ceduna 1?). Someone might like to tell us where it ended up. Perth? It is interesting to see what UTAS have done with Ceduna and how it fits into their network.

UTAS Ceduna Radio Telescope

The University of Tasmania Ceduna radio telescope is a 29.6 metre diameter parabolic antenna designed and constructed by Mitsubishi in 1969, with an alt-az mount and feeds located at the Nasmyth focus. Continue reading

Ceduna Back in the Satellite Business

NBN to revive Ceduna’s Historic Role in Satellite Communications

24 August 2012
This press release by NBN Co
Spotted by Geoffrey Shaw
Ceduna in the West Coast region of South Australia has been selected as the location for a satellite ground station that will enable Australians in isolated areas access to fast broadband.

The ground station on Goode Road, approximately two kilometres north-east of Ceduna, will act as an essential transmission centre to deliver the NBN to homes, farms and businesses in remote areas including Oodnadatta, Marree and Wilpena Pound. It is one of ten such facilities to be built nationwide and the only one to be located in South Australia. Continue reading

Satellites and Change

50 Years via Satellites

by Robert Brand

The video below is courtesy of ESA. It shows the changing face of satellite communications. Very different from our OTC days.

This introduction from ESA: Unless you were lucky enough to get your hands on a coveted London 2012 Olympics ticket, it’s likely you’ll be watching Usain Bolt from the comfort of your living room. This is all made possible by satellites which have beamed some of the most important moments in history to our homes. This year marks 50 years since the first image was beamed through space and back to earth again via satellite. Continue reading

Moree Today Pt4

Close view of OTC logo on tower - opposite side to antenna padMoree Revisited Pt4 (final)

Story and photos by Dan Flett

Preface by Robert Brand: I received this email from an interested party, nothing to do with OTC, but was kind enough to send me some great photos of the Moree site that re recently visited. I will spread the photos out over a few postings, but here is his email. Thanks so much Dan.

Hi Robert, My name is Dan Flett, and I discovered your site, http://exotc.org indirectly via www.honeysucklecreek.net – my new favourite website. The only vaguely tangental personal connection I might have with OTC is that my wife used to work for Telstra and has a few Telstra and ex-Telstra friends – some of whom may have worked for OTC in the past. Continue reading

Moree Today Pt3

Moree Revisited Pt3

Story and photos by Dan Flett

Preface by Robert Brand: I received this email from an interested party, nothing to do with OTC, but was kind enough to send me some great photos of the Moree site that re recently visited. I will spread the photos out over a few postings, but here is his email. Thanks so much Dan.

Hi Robert, My name is Dan Flett, and I discovered your site, http://exotc.org indirectly via www.honeysucklecreek.net – my new favourite website. :)   The only vaguely tangental personal connection I might have with OTC is that my wife used to work for Telstra and has a few Telstra and ex-Telstra friends – some of whom may have worked for OTC in the past. Continue reading

Jamesburg in a Movie

Battleship (2012) uses Jamesburg Earth Station (graphically).

Sure Jamesburg Earth Station is not the only dish with this design, there are two others. One still in use in South America and another somewhere in the US – possibly Alaska from memory. The identical AT&T sister dish on the east coast was demolished many years ago. Jamesburg, however is the most well photographed and documented of the remaining dishes and thus attracts attention. Continue reading

Telstar 1 – 50 Years Ago

Telstar 1 satelliteJuly 12, 1962: The Day Information Went Global

Telstar was launched by NASA on July 10, 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and was the first privately sponsored space-faring mission. Two days later, it relayed the world’s first transatlantic television signal, from Andover Earth Station, Maine, to the Pleumeur-Bodou Telecom Center, Brittany, France. Continue reading

Life After OTC

Robert Brand Part 3

Gene Cernan and Robert Brand

Life takes some pretty interesting turns and my headlong rush into the space sector started 3 years ago as mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2. Pat Barthelow, a HAM radio operator from the US, asked the OTVA to organise a Moon Bounce for the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 back in June 2009. After the next 12 months my knowledge of space had grown considerably as I was posting stories on my Echoes of Apollo Website.

http://echoesofapollo.com Continue reading

Carnarvon Museum Calls for Help

The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum Needs our Help.

In a recent post about the Opening of Carnarvon’s new Museum dedicated to NASA and OTC work, Graeme Hanigan said:

“It was interesting to see how quickly the history is rewritten.
The event was overrun by ex NASA ‘Trackers’ as they called themselves and there was lots of ill-informed conversation and confusion about the OTC site. At best I could describe ‘the museum’ is a jumbled collection of ‘space junk’. However the committee is well meaning and I hope that somewhere along the line they get the story straight. Continue reading

The Carnarvon Space And Technology Museum

Buzz in Carnarvon for the Opening

A nice bit of video from Buzz Aldrin’s arrival in Carnarvon for the opening of the new Space and Technology Museum. The site is the old OTC and NASA property at Carnarvon in Western Australia.

Colin Benporath is there and when he returns I hope to post a more detailed story and some of his pictures. Until then here are two videos showing Buzz Aldrin’s arrival and a video showing some background on the moon support Continue reading

Early Bird 2, the UK and Global TV

OTC’s Jim Robertson explains

Intelsat I was nicknamed “Early Bird” for the proverb “The early bird catches the worm”. Early Bird 1 was the world’s first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit. It was positioned over the Atlantic Ocean and launched on 6 April 1965. The Early Bird series was built by the Space and Communications Group of Hughes Aircraft Company (later Hughes Space and Communications Company, and now Boeing Satellite Systems) for COMSAT. Continue reading