Tuesday 20 November 2018

The Vital Link: NASA Space Tracking Facilities in Australia in Support of the Apollo Lunar Program – Talk by Kerrie Dougherty

December 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, the first human mission to orbit the Moon and a major milestone towards achieving the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Spacecraft tracking and reliable communications between the spacecraft and Mission Control were vital to the success of the Apollo lunar program and Australia played a crucial role in the project with several NASA tracking stations located around the country. In this talk, space historian Kerrie Dougherty will present the story of the NASA tracking stations in Australia and their roles in supporting the Apollo Moon missions from 1968-72. In particular, she will discuss how NASA’s Honeysuckle Creek station, near Canberra, in conjunction with the Parkes radio telescope, brought the world the live television coverage of the Apollo 11 Moonwalk.

Kerrie Dougherty is an independent space historian, author and freelance curator. Formerly Curator of Space Technology at the Powerhouse Museum, with over 30 years’ museum experience, Kerrie is also a lecturer in Space Humanities studies for the International Space University. A Member of the International Academy of Astronautics, she also serves on their History of Astronautics Committee. She is the author of “Australia in Space”, a comprehensive history of Australian space activities (published 2017) and the winner of the 2015 Sacknoff Prize for Space History.

Venue: History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Time: 5.30 for 6 pm
Cost: includes light refreshments on arrival; RAHS and ASHET members $10, others $12
Bookings: phone RAHS on (02) 9247 8001, email history@rahs.org.au

Honeysuckle Creek tracking station copy