Carnarvon Construction


Hamish Lindsay shot this 8mm footage of the construction in 1963 and the opening on 25 June 1964. Hamish also added the commentary. (Direct link to Vimeo – or download a smaller (384x288 pixel) 49MB MP4 file here.)

Paul Dench writes:

“Although the station wasn’t officially open until 25 June 1964, construction of the FPQ-6 started mid-January 1963, I was the first Tracker on the payroll in early May 1963, an office was open in town in July ’63, and Trackers were on-site early in August.

TTY was connected by September 1963 and some 50 Trackers and 30 NASA engineers were on-site before Christmas ’63 installing the equipment.

FPQ-6 tracked a spacecraft for the first time on 25 January 1964 with its first official contact three days later – a 3-hour track of Ranger-6 through TLI (trans-lunar injection).”


Carnarvon construction

Western Australia’s largest crane was dispatched to Carnarvon to help with the erection of the FPQ6 Radar.

This clipping from The West Australian, 8 November 1963, was preserved by Hamish Lindsay. 2021 scan by Colin Mackellar.


The mount for the FPQ6 dish is fitted to the pedestal.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. 2022 scan: Colin Mackellar.


Here’s the crane lowering the FPQ6 dish onto the pedestal.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. 2022 updated scan: Colin Mackellar.


Another view of the crane lowering the FPQ6 dish onto the pedestal.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar.



The Apollo USB extension and 9 metre antenna was added in 1965 – 1966.


Carnarvon construction

The USB 9 metre antenna being assembled for the Apollo program.

Note the Tropospheric scatter antenna on the right.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

Carnarvon 9m dish - Tom Sheehan

The USB 9 metre antenna under construction.

Photo: John Lambie.

More to come.