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Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum

Title: Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum
Broadcast Date: 11th November 18
Presenter: Rebecca Johns

Think Carnarvon, think Banana’s, right? Well today Rebecca is in Carnarvon discovering one of the experiences the region should be known for.

  • Carnarvon played a vital role in getting rocket ships to outer space and back to Earth Safely, and to pay homage to those who helped create history and to educate those in the future, the Space and Technology museum was built.
  • The museum was officially opened in 2012 by Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man to walk on the moon in 1969 (with the first man to of course being his college Neil Armstrong who stepped out just 9 minutes before him)
  • The museum houses historical parts of both the Carnarvon tracking station and the OTC Satellite Earth Station, each playing very important role in the early space industry.
  • The tracking station use to be located 10km south of Carnarvon and was built to support NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs and was commissioned in 1964 and operated for 11 years. It was the last to communicate with the space capsules leaving Earth’s orbit and the last to make contact before they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
  • At the height of the operation, 220 of 2,000 Carnarvon residents were working at the tracking station, that’s 1 in every 10 locals!
  • The original satellite dish, known as the Casshorn Antenna commissioned in 1966, has a width of 12.8m and has interactive parabolic and hyperbolic reflectors in a characteristic sugar scoop form. It is the only remaining example left in the world.
  • The Overseas Telecommunications Commission or OTC Satellite Earth Station, which is now the Museum was established to meet the need for more reliable and higher quality communications for NASA’s Apollo moon project and in 1969, the Satellite played a pivotal role in getting Apollo 11 to the moon and back safely.
  • It relayed Neil Armstrong’s first steps to a mesmerized Perth audience and was the first live telecast in Western Australian history.
  • If you are chasing an adrenaline rush, the museum even has a 7minute Apollo simulation, giving you the opportunity to experience was it was really like onboard an Apollo space craft.
  • The museum is solely run by volunteers and next year marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.
  • A must see experience and great day out for little and the big kids.  An amazing educational tool to teach tourists to the region about the role Carnarvon plated in the race to space.