Bruce Window

Island Lagoon, Tidbinbilla, Parkes

Bruce Window

Bruce Window, Woomera, 1962.

Part 1 – Island Lagoon

audio part 1 (49 minutes, 18MB mp3 file)

Background in Queensland Police Wireless Section.

Arrival in Woomera.

Life at Island Lagoon Minitrack.

A Minitrack pass, and the Minitrack Optical Tracking System.

Time to leave Woomera.

Also hear Bruce’s Minitrack space sounds audio.

Bruce Window at Island Lagoon MiniTrack, 1963



Part 2 – Mariner IV

audio part 2 (17 minutes, 6.4MB mp3 file)

Earliest days at DSS-42 Tidbinbilla, and members of the team.

Receiving the first signals from Mariner IV at Mars. What it was like on the day. A letter to home.

Mariner IV in the Tidbinbilla section.
Newspaper mentioned by Bruce.

Bruce Window at Tidbinbilla during the Mariner IV encounter 1965

Part 3 – Surveyor

audio part 3 (11 minutes, 4.1MB mp3 file)

The first soft-landing on the Moon and the amazingly successful Surveyor program.

Bruce Window at Tidbinbilla 1967 - Surveyor era

Part 4 – Apollo

audio part 4 (26 minutes, 9.4MB mp3 file)

Adding the Wing at Tidbinbilla.

Apollo 7 – something of a surprise.

Apollos 8–12.

Apollo 13 – the dash to Parkes. (Photo here.)

Bruce Window at Tidbinbilla 1967 - Surveyor era

Bruce adds (January 2011): “I know now, on reflection, that with the first pass of Apollo 13 at Parkes, the cable that I had in my hand that I couldn’t connect to Honeysuckle was a Telemetry data cable, because I now remember feeding the Downlink Audio into an ordinary phone line that the CSIRO had set up.”

Interview recorded by Colin Mackellar, March 2010. © Bruce Window.

With thanks to Bruce for his interview and the photos.
Above photo from a CSIRO photo taken at Parkes.


Bruce Window

Woomera – Port Road at Wirrappa, 1961.
Photo: Bruce Window.

Bruce Window

Maria Window beside the car near Woomera, 1963.
Photo: Bruce Window.

Bruce Window

Bruce Window at Island Lagoon Minitrack, 1963.

Bruce Window

Bruce Window at the Island Lagoon Minitrack console, 1963.

Bruce Window

Bruce Window with the same Minitrack console at the National Museum of Australia, in Canberra, 19 July 2019.

In between the two photos, the Minitrack station had been moved to Orroral Valley after Island Lagoon closed and this console was donated to the National Museum some time after Orroral Valley closed.