Carnarvon Tracking Station Photographs
by Hamish Lindsay 1963-1966.



The Gemini photos were taken in 1965, with the Apollo photos taken
before March 1966 when Hamish left in preparation for Honeysuckle Creek.
They are a wonderful snapshot of the range of operations at Carnarvon.

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1. The original road sign at the entrance to the tracking station with one of the Commer buses used to transport staff to and from work.


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2. John Nugent at the Gemini 1218 computer with Barbara King at the keyboard.

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3. Gemini Acquisition antennas.


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4. Close up of the Gemini Acquisition antennas.


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5. Gemini Acquisition Aid towers.


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6. The Acquisition Aid system, the first system to lock onto the spacecraft. The FPQ6 radar slaved to it to initially locate the spacecraft. It also received the telemetry and voice signals. Supervisor Ed Goldsmith in the centre, with Alec Stevenson behind, and Clive Cross in front.

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7. View from behind the T&C building with the Acquisition Aid antennas in the foreground.


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8. The power house with the Gemini Command and Voice transmitters site beyond to the left, and the Range and Range Rate site in the distance.


Carnarvon from the air

8b. Aerial view – Apollo configuration. Hamish writes:

“On the left are the two tropospheric scatter dish antennas for a link to Geraldton, introduced when all the land lines out of Carnarvon were lost to a lightning strike early in the Gemini Program. Next is the 9-metre USB Apollo antenna.

The big building is the T & C (Telemetry and Control) building, with the Apollo extensions visible nearest the camera with its battery of airconditioning units needed to compete with the heat of the surrounding desert.

At the top right corner of the T&C building are the two Gemini Acquisition Aid antennas, while the old Verlort radar from Muchea with its vans and small concrete tower is visible in the top right of the picture.”

The powerhouse and FPQ-6 radar were established in separate locations.

At its peak Carnarvon (CRO) was the largest tracking station outside the USA.”

How was it taken? Hamish writes, “I was flying in a light aircraft without the door on (the pilot pulled fencing wire out of the hinges to remove the door!), and when he banked to turn all my gear would slide towards the open door.”


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9. The Gemini operations room: Gemini engineering console on the left, Capcom console in the centre and the Agena engineering console on the right, with visiting NASA engineers.


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10. Gemini 4 Flight Control team.

Back row from left: M&O Dick Simons, AWA Company Manager Fred Mitchell, Station Director Lewis Wainwright, and Astronaut Dave Scott.

Front Row: Dr Bill Walsh (RAAF), Harry Smith, Dr Michael Murray-Alston (RAAF), John Ferry, Ed Fendell (Capcom), Joe Fuller, Dr Dick Pollard (NASA).

Gemini 4 flew June 3-7 1965.


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11. Station engineer Monte Sala with the fountain he designed for AWA.


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12. The WRE High Altitude Density (HAD) rocket launch site.


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13. View of the HAD rocket from inside the firing post.


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14. John Ferry, a Gemini flight control team member at the Capcom console during downtime when the spacecraft was out of range of the station.


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15. M&O Supervisor Dick Simons at the Gemini operations console. Behind are John Fletcher (left) and Dave Brooks.


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16. FPQ6 radar supervising engineer Len Algate.


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17. Crane lowering the FPQ6 dish onto the pedestal.


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18. Another view of the crane lowering the FPQ6 dish onto the pedestal.


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19. The FPQ6 radar 9 metre antenna and pedestal, with Don Blackman on the platform to give scale to the structure.


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20. The FPQ6 radar antenna mount.


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21. The FPQ6 radar operations console.
From left: Ron Burgess, George Allan, George Gerschwitz, Len Algate.


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22. George Allan at the FPQ6 console.


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23. Close up of the FPQ6 antenna with technician Don Blackman in the window.


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24. Operators Helen Smith and Joy King with technician Kon Tsiaprakas in the Range and Range Rate equipment trailer.

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25. The dual S-Band dish antennas at the Range and Range rate site.


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26. Astronaut Wally Schirra setting his hands in concrete.

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27. Astronaut Wally Schirra about to plant his hands in wet concrete. Watching from behind are Wilson Tuckey and AWA Company Manager Fred Mitchell.


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28. Astronaut Wally Schirra about to wash his hands after planting them in concrete, assisted by Monte Sala.


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29. Astronaut Wally Schirra looking at paintings.


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30. Astronaut Wally Schirra’s hand imprint in the concrete block.
Behind from left are Fred Mitchell (Company Manager), Wilson Tuckey, and Lewis Wainwright (Station Director).


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31. NASA installation supervising engineer Victor Schwartz at the fountain, looking at Craig, the photographer’s son, playing in the fountain.

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32. Technician Stewart Sands calibrating the medical pen recorder.

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33. Called surgeons, the medical team for Gemini IV at their console, from left:
Dr Bill Walsh (RAAF), Dr Dick Pollard (NASA),
Dr Michael Murray-Alston (RAAF).

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34. The T&C Building with the foundations for the USB extensions in the foreground.


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35. Working on the timing VLF antenna.


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36. Technician Leo Overington working on the USB time standard.


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37. A view of the Gemini telemetry area with the Acquisition Aid to the rear. Geoff Hammond in the foreground, with John Nugent (left) and Basil Byrne in the background.


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38. Technician Jack Stewart at the Gemini PCM-1 telemetry control panel.


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39. Technician Dave Ricketts working on the Gemini telemetry receivers.


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40. Engineer Trevor Housley at the Gemini Digital Command System (DCS – Mark 2).


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41. Teletype operator Gloria Klarie (right) and an unidentified colleague sending teletype messages with Communications Supervisor Arch Durie in the background.

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42. The crane lowering the USB antenna X axis gear onto the base.


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43. Crane lowering the USB antenna X axis gear onto base.


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44. Crane lowering the USB antenna X axis gear onto base.


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45. Crane assembling USB antenna dish support framework.


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46. Supervising Engineer Paul Dench (right) talks with Mr Sam Miller, Head of the Radio Construction Company team installing the USB antenna.


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47. The completed 9 metre USB antenna.


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48. USB building extension framing.

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49. The USB building extension plinth floor framing in place.

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50. Seated at the USB receiver console are Dave Brooks (left) and John Fletcher.


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51. Technicians Fred Dykstra and Bill Bell operating the Mercury/Gemini Verlort radar.


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52. Technician Hamish Lindsay at the Gemini voice receivers.




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