Don Gray

Station Director, Honeysuckle Creek 1970–1978

April 2010 interview

Don Gray

Don Gray recording this interview in April 2010.

Interview Part 1 – Early days – Air Force, WRE, NASA

audio part 1 (16 minutes, 6.1MB mp3 file)

Air Force
DSS41 Woomera
Preparations for L to S Band conversion

Interview Part 2 – Barstow

audio part 2 (10 minutes, 3.8MB mp3 file)

Barstow and Goldstone
Chuck Koscielski (DSS11)
Generosity of Americans
Meeting Nick Renzetti
S-Band conversion

Interview Part 3 – Island Lagoon, Woomera

audio part 3 (17 minutes, 6.3MB mp3 file)

DSS-41 Island Lagoon
Ranger 6
Lunar Orbiter
Tidbinbilla crew in Woomera for training

Interview Part 4 – Tidbinbilla

audio part 4 (12 minutes, 4.6MB mp3 file)

Mike Dinn
The MSFN Wing at Tidbinbilla
Bob Leslie
DSN / MSFN relations
Henry Thompson, Ozro Covington
NASA Budgets the Australian way
The movie “The Dish”

Interview Part 5 – Relationships

audio part 5 (3 minutes 30 seconds, 1.5MB mp3 file)

Relationships with the Americans and South Africans
DSIF precedents

Interview Part 6 – Apollo

audio part 6 (6 minutes, 2.5MB mp3 file)

Learning the equipment
Tom Reid

Interview Part 7 – Apollo 8

audio part 7 (4 minutes, 1.7MB mp3 file)

Apollo 8
That Christmas party at the US Embassy
Recognising each person at the stations

Interview Part 8 – Apollo 11

audio part 8 (7 minutes 30 seconds, 2.9MB mp3 file)

Apollo 11
Fire in the Tidbinbilla transmitter power supply
Honeysuckle to track the LM

Interview Part 9 – the move to Honeysuckle

audio part 9 (9 minutes 30 seconds, 3.6MB mp3 file)

Station Director at Tidbinbilla 1967
Move to Honeysuckle 1970
Apollo 13
Visiting Houston
Apollos 15 and 16
Laurie Turner

Interview Part 10 – life after manned spaceflight tracking

audio part 10 (2 minutes, 900kb mp3 file)

After the MSFN
Honeysuckle joins the DSN
ERTS / Landsat / Earth Resources

Don Gray

Don Gray (left) under DSS46 at the Apollo 11 40th anniversary celebrations in 2009.

Don Gray

Don Gray at the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra on April 14 2010, for an event commemorating Apollo 13. Photo: Louise M.

Don Gray

Don Gray recording this interview in April 2010.

Interview recorded by Colin Mackellar, 15 April 2010.
With grateful thanks to Don for his willingness to share his ‘tales from the first space age’.