Cooby Creek – Achievements


 

While Cooby Creek participated in a wide range of experiments (see the booklet), it was the television broadcasts which were seen by the general public in Australia.

Here are some firsts from Cooby Creek:

6th April 1967. The first satellite photos showing all of Australia – from ATS-2 (the second of the Applications Technology Satellites).

Cooby Creek

Australia, as seen from the ATS-2 satellite, and received at Cooby Creek, on 6th April 1967.

ATS-2 was a gravity gradient stabilised satellite.
Original Polaroid photo by Neil Sandford.

On the back, Neil wrote, “6th April 1967. ATS-A. s/c advancing towards Australia.”

Photo and enhancement by Colin Mackellar.


Cooby Creek

Australia, as seen from the ATS-2 satellite, and received at Cooby Creek, on 6th April 1967.

Original Polaroid photo by Neil Sandford.

On the back, Neil wrote:

“ATS-II launch, 6th April 1967.
During 1st orbit, Australia completely visible. Concentrated cyclone over Japan and cyclonic disturbance over Indian Ocean.
One gravity gradient boom clearly visible, and the other boom great against Earth cloud cover just off west coast of Australia.”

Photo and enhancement by Colin Mackellar.

 

In January 1967, Cooby Creek successfully received test transmissions via ATS-1 from the Japanese earth station at Ibaraki.

Cooby Creek

A test transmission from Ibaraki (Japan) to Cooby Creek, 11th January 1967.
Polaroid photo: Nevil Eyre.


Cooby Creek

A test transmission from Ibaraki (Japan) to Cooby Creek, 11th January 1967.
Polaroid photo: Nevil Eyre. (The Polaroid has degraded somewhat.)





Later in 1967, the station brought the first live satellite television to Australian viewers –


(The OTC’s satellite earth station at Carnarvon had sent one-way live TV from Australia to the UK in November 1966, and recorded a return transmission for later playback.

The OTC’s satellite earth station at Moree, NSW became operational on 1st April 1968 with the unscheduled telecast of US President Lyndon Johnson declining to seek a second term.

The OTC earth station at Ceduna, South Australia became operational in December 1969.)

Expo 67

Cooby Creek received a live broadcast via ATS-1, originating from the Australian pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal in the early hours of Wednesday 7th June 1967. (6th June 1967, Canadian time, was desigated as Australia’s Special Day at the World Exposition. Prime Minister Harold Holt was on hand.)

This was the first live TV seen from outside Australia to be seen by viewers, and was relayed to the Eastern States through the ABC to commercial broadcasters.

Viewers were treated to performances by The Seekers, Normie Rowe, Rolf Harris and Bobby Limb. Robert Helpmann, who directed a tour of Canada by the Australian Ballet, also appeared during the programme.

Below are some Polaroids taken by Neil Sandford at Cooby Creek during the broadcast. (Photographs of the Polaroids by Colin Mackellar. With thanks to Neil Sandford. As Neil points out in his hand written anotations, the Polaroids do not do justice to the received picture.)

 

Cooby Creek

Pulse and Bar from Montreal via ATS-1.

Anotations on the back.

“Expo 67. 7th June 67.
Pulse & Bar from Montreal.
Rec at CBY.
SHF sig strength -102dbm
Noise temp approx 95°K
Wet misty WX.”

Polaroid photo: Neil Sandford.


Cooby Creek

2T Pulse from Montreal via ATS-1.

Anotations on the back.

“Expo 67. 7th June 67.
2T Pulse received at CBY from Montreal via ATS1.
Ground received signal strength -102dbm
System noise temp approx 95°K.”

Polaroid photo: Neil Sandford.


Cooby Creek

This washed out Polaroid shows the scene from Expo 67 in Montreal.

Anotations on the back.

Polaroid photo: Neil Sandford.


Cooby Creek

This washed out Polaroid shows the scene from Expo 67 in Montreal.

Anotations on the back.

Polaroid photo: Neil Sandford.


Cooby Creek

This washed out Polaroid shows the scene from Expo 67 in Montreal.

Anotations on the back.

Polaroid photo: Neil Sandford.



Our World

Cooby Creek was the Australian earth station for the ‘Our World’ broadcast early on the morning of Monday 26 June 1967.

See this page for Our World.


Prime Minister Holt’s Memorial Service

On 22 December 1967, Cooby Creek relayed to the world live television pictures of the Memorial Service for Prime Minister Harold Holt.

The service was held at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Melbourne and the broadcast was the most complex real-time TV operation conducted in Australia to that point. (Prime Minister Holt had disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach on Port Phillip Bay on Sunday 17 December 1967.)

 

Davis Cup

Four days after the Memorial Service, Cooby relayed television of the 1967 Davis Cup final from Milton Courts in Brisbane, on 26–28 December.