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

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Personal Update – Robert Brand

Robert Brand ParkesPersonal Update

By Robert Brand

Sorry for the lack of posts – it has been 5 months, but life has gone to being extremely ridiculous workload-wise.

The OTVA has their Autumn Social event on Friday 5th April at the Bowlers Club located at 95-97 York St Sydney.  RVSP to Peter Bull so that he can submit the numbers to the Functions Coordinator prior to the day. Respond early to avoid disappointment. Continue reading

Life After OTC

Robert Brand Part 4

by Robert Brand

So far I have not had anyone else telling me what they are up to after OTC so I will update you on some very new developments in my life. Yes, new in the last few weeks.

Life takes some pretty interesting turns and my headlong rush into the space sector only started 3 years ago as mentioned. We all had something to do with Space missions for NASA or ESA, whether you were in Accounts or Ops. It was what OTC did, but it was the terrestrial and satellite side. Continue reading

Australia Enters the Space Age

Australia’s WRESAT 1967

Weapons Research Establishment Project: WRESAT

Some Australian Space history for those interested.

On 29 November 1967, Australia became only the fourth country – after the USA, Soviet Union and France – to launch its own satellite from its own territory.

The battery-powered WRESAT weighed about 45 kilograms and was designed in the form of a cone. Three cones (two test and one actual) were constructed in the development phase, and a range of tests were carried out to ensure the satellite’s durability. Continue reading

Want to Join a Weather Balloon Launch?

Launch and Recovery.

by Robert Brand.

This is not about OTC, but since there are many that are interested in HAM radio and technology, I am posting this as a general interest post. If you want to take part of find out more or even track the flight, you can find out more here:

http://wotzup.com/

This post is straight from my WotzUp website:

I mentioned to many people that I would like to launch a high altitude balloon flight in the next School Holidays here in NSW, Australia. I had thought that it would be an experiment in stability and camera work, but it appears that another opportunity has arisen and the experiment has changed – more on that later 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

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

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

Terry Percival – OTC R&D

Global WiFi and Terry Percival

by Robert Brand

It is always a joy to see Terry Percival at industry meetings and other technology events. He is one of those people that radiates a joy in his work. He headed up OTC’s R&D efforts between 1987 and 1991 and that is where I bumped into him. He bough voice messaging services from my company at the time. I have kept in touch with Terry and it was great to see him in the CSIRO story of WiFi – see the video at the end of this story. 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

1968 Newspaper Advertisement

The Satellite “AGE”

This advertisement was spotted in The Age newspaper. The Age is one of Melbourne’s Newspapers (Australia). It was dated 14th June 1968 and was soon after the opening of Moree Satellite Station. The article showcases the stations ability to receive (and Transmit) TV programs around the world.

The terms used seem quaint by the general standards of today. 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