Preparing for Apollo at Honeysuckle Creek

Mike Dinn

Additional comments from Mike Dinn

We tracked all three of these missions [Apollos 4, 5 & 6], which gave us SOME experience working with the MSFN network and Houston, and SOME practice acquiring and tracking spacecraft in Earth orbit. With all the simulations and real spacecraft tracks we felt we knew our equipment pretty well and had developed into a confident team. However, we still felt we were junior members of the MSFN, not having UHF comms, not having been part of Gemini, and not having tracked many earth orbit activities.

Apollo 7 was our first real opportunity to perform consistently in earth orbit tracking. And this went very well – no signs of the early problems.

But finally with Apollo 8 we came into our own, and this upstart MSFN station called Honeysuckle, near somewhere called Canberra, came to centre stage and performed magnificently, along with all other parts of this incredible mission.