Honeysuckle, Apollo 11 & TV from the Moon
Monday 21st July 1969 Australian time
Background to where the Apollo 11 Lunar TV broadcast was received.
Duration: 8 min 31 sec. Stereo sound.
The above video file is a modified extract from the DVD The Moonwalks as seen at Honeysuckle Creek Super 8 movie footage taken at Honeysuckle Creek during Apollos 11, 16 and 17).
At the time, the most watched television event in history was Neil Armstrong stepping onto the Moon.
The Australian movie The Dish, released in 2000, tells the story of how the TV from the Moon was received by CSIROs 64 metre Parkes Radio Telescope.
While The Dish was just a movie (and a very enjoyable one at that!), all who watched it will have been left with the impression that Parkes was the sole source of TV from the Moon.
That is not correct. Houston relayed Goldstone’s TV to the world until just before Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface. The switch was then made to Honeysuckle Creek, and it was through this Manned Space Flight Station the world saw the First Step.
After nearly 9 minutes, Parkes came on line and provided high quality television for the rest of the EVA.
Parkes Radio Telescope.
Photo: Keith Aldworth.
Photo: Hamish Lindsay.
All who worked at Honeysuckle, Tidbinbilla and at Parkes did so as part of a larger team. There was no competition to be first either then or now.
However, it is important to explain what actually happened not to diminish the excellent work done by John Bolton and his team at Parkes but simply to get history right.
And its important
to be fair to those who actually provided all of those breathtaking television images
to the world.
In this section, then is an account of what happened on Monday 21st July, 1969 – as well as other information on how live TV from the Moon came to the people of Earth for the very first time.