Apollo 13 comms


17 April 1970

Here are selections of audio from immediately prior to, and during,
Honeysuckle’s last track of Apollo 13, as the spacecraft nears Earth on 17 April 1970.

Audio recorded and preserved by Hamish Lindsay.

The various Unified S-Band configuration modes mentioned in the audio files are outlined
on this ‘cheat sheet’ scanned by John Saxon.


Apollo 13 comms from Honeysuckle Network calls

Network calls Mike Dinn at Honeysuckle. They will send a TWX (teletype message) with plots of Apollo 13’s groundtrack across Australia.

(It’s likely that this TWX, or a derivative of it, was used by the ABC’s Peter Pockley as he narrated Apollo 13’s return from the Moon just 10 hours later – see this page.)

1.1MB mp3 file.

Apollo 13 comms from Honeysuckle CADFISS Test

Both Honeysuckle (Prime, HSK) and Tidbinbilla (the Wing, HSK-X) start a CADFISS test prior to the track.

560kb mp3 file.

Apollo 13 comms from Honeysuckle Released from CADFISS Test

Both HSK and HSK-X are released from the CADFISS test.

220kb mp3 file.

Apollo 13 comms from Honeysuckle Acquisition of Signal on the last track

Discussion on station configuration, and Acquisition of Signal from Aquarius 58 seconds into the clip.

1.9MB mp3 file.

Apollo 13 comms from Honeysuckle Handover from Goldstone to Honeysuckle on the last track

This recording of Net 2 plus several internal Honeysuckle comms loops begins at 132:27GET. This is ten hours before Entry Interface, and Apollo 13 is picking up speed.

Handover occurs at 4:10 into the clip when HSK reports they are three-way, and SB2 (at the Wing) is two-way.

The 3.6MB mp3 file runs for 7 minutes 17 seconds.

Apollo 13 comms from Honeysuckle It’s cold in here

Honeysuckle is prime during this recording of Jim Lovell describing the cold – the 39 second recording begins at 132:53GET.

400kb mp3 file.

Audio transfers and editing by Colin Mackellar.

SRT (Station Readiness Test) audio from during Apollo 13 to come.