The Heroes of Honeysuckle Creek.

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Namadgi National Park, Tennent, Australian Capital Territory, Australiamap
Surnames/tags: CSIRO NASA Australia
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Honeysuckle Creek, On Eagle's Wings

The Honeysuckle Creek Antenna was part of an array of Antennas built at Canberra Deep Space Complex by NASA and staffed by Australians, which can receive a signal and communicate with spacecraft. It was built to enable complete coverage of space, in combination with a network array of dishes at Goldstone, California and Madrid, Spain, during the Apollo Program, called the Deep Space Network. The Canberra array are now managed by the CSIRO There is also another station array at New Norcia, Western Australia

  • Thomas Reid was the director at Honeysuckle Creek during the Apollo 11 Landing.

The Parkes Observatory is part of the Australia Telescope National Facility which also includes the Murchison Array in Western Australia and the Australia Compact Array near the town of Narribri in New South Wales, and the Mopra Telescope near Coonabarabran in New South Wales. They can receive, but not relay a signal.

Honeysuckle Creek – with a 26m dish (now relocated and decommissioned) – is renowned as the station which received and relayed to the world the first televised footage of astronaut Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon on 20 July 1969. Apart from television pictures, Honeysuckle Creek and Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex (Tidbinbilla) had communication and telemetry contact with the Eagle lunar and Columbia command modules.
Much of this was dramatized as involving Parkes Observatory (Parkes) in the 2000 Australian film The Dish. In fact, Parkes received only the landing footage. Six hours later, the first steps on the Moon were transmitted from Honeysuckle Creek. Although the Parkes antenna was more powerful, the angle of its dish – at a lowermost pitch of 30-degrees and buffeted by wind gusts up to 100 km/h – was not in line to receive signals during the first seven minutes of the Moon Walk. Honeysuckle Creek signals were sent direct to OTC Sydney via Williamdale and Red Hill (Canberra).[4] Working for NASA, Charlie Goodman selected the audiovisual feeds from Honeysuckle Creek and Parkes for worldwide broadcasts.

Australia’s tracking stations have played a vital role in space exploration, with computing being the most notable legacy. A modern mobile phone has many times more computing power than NASA did in 1969. And mobiles around the world are linked by WiFi– an Australian invention.[2][3][4]


  1. "Biography - John Gatenby Bolton - Australian Dictionary Of Biography". 2021. Adb.Anu.Edu.Au. John Bolton, ADB
  2. defining moments
  3. WiFi
  4. CSIRO

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