Kevyn Westbrook – 1994

Muchea Tracking Station


In April 1994, Hamish Lindsay interviewed Kevyn Westbrook
as part of his research for his book, “Tracking Apollo to the Moon”.

Hamish recorded the interview on a DAT tape, and we are grateful to the ACT Heritage Library
and to Antoinette Buchanan and her team for their help in making a transfer of this tape.

Kevyn Westbrook and Muchea Mercury Space Tracking

audio Interviewed by Hamish Lindsay (88 minutes, 32MB mp3 file)

Some highlights:

00:00 Getting the job at at Muchea.

04:00 Areas of responsibility.

06:45 Detailed System Tests.

07:10 Herman Barrier, Western Electric Installation Manager.

09:20 Circuits to the US, and lots of outages.

14:15 Simulation flights.

16:00 Value of scripted tests and simulations.

20:50 The CADFISS Test to end all CADFISS Tests.

28:55 The loss of the Simulation RAAF C-47.

31:22 Mercury Network Test Vehicle.

32:21 Trip to the United States. GCC Conference at Goddard (see photo below), and return via Red Lake. Culture shock, the value of meeting all the other GCCs.

46:00 Enos (MA-5, 29 November 1961) and bananas on the Flight Controller’s consoles.

49:00 It’s alright leaving here. National orderwire.

55:00 John Glenn’s flight, (Friendship 7, MA-6), 20 February 1962. Gerry O’Connor.

82:00 The first Network Simulation. Was it real?

(At the end, Hamish mentions plan to record more of the interview on another tape. We’re not sure if it was recorded, but will add it here of we find it.)

Interview recorded by Hamish Lindsay, April 1994.
DAT tape transferred by the ACT Heritage Library, November 2019.
Lightly edited and encoded by Colin Mackellar, May 2020.

Kevyn Westbrook at Muchea

Kevyn Westbrook, arrowed, at a conference for the Mercury Space Tracking Network’s Ground Communication Controllers.

Mike Dinn spotted George Jenkins, third from the left in the front row. George was at MILA (Deputy Director?).

Does anyone recognise others in this photo, or know where it was taken? Goddard? Contact.

(Handwritten on the back appears to say:
Front: Rob Cranne ZZB [Zanzibar], J. Anderson.)

Photo preserved by Kevyn Westbrook. Scan: Colin Mackellar.