Carnarvon Opening Ceremony

25th June 1964.

Film and audio recording from the Opening Ceremony

1.) See Silent Department of Supply footage with the audio of the Minister for Supply’s speech (see below) added. On Vimeo.

Alternatively, download the 78MB mp4 video file here (right click to download).

Audio recording from the Opening Ceremony

2.) Hear the speech given by The Hon. (later Sir) Allen Fairhall, Minister for Supply.

Audio mp3 audio file – 6.7MB, 13.5 minutes.

This recording has the national anthems of the USA and the speech by the Minister for Supply. Does anyone have the rest of the audio?

Audio tape preserved by Hamish Lindsay, digitised by Colin Mackellar, May 2013.

Message of Welcome to the Goddard Networks

Space enthusiast Brian Larwood in Perth has contributed this film, made by NASA to welcome Carnarvon to the Goddard networks.

It begins with the head of NASA’s Office of Tracking and Data Acquisition, Edmond C Buckley introducing NASA Administrator James Webb.

Then Dr. Harry J. Goett, first Director of the Goddard Space Flight Center, brings in greetings from various Goddard stations around the world.

The video runs for 8'37".

Available from YouTube – or as a 41MB 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).”


Opening Day: 25 June 1964.

PMG Technician John Lambie writes –
That’s me on the right. (No I am not guarding the PMG [telecoms] cable marker.) To the left is Monte Sala, Digital Command System (DCS) engineer and spouse Lydia and their children near the fountain that Monte designed and built.


The opening ceremony.

At the microphone is Allen Fairhall, Minister for Supply, Commonwealth of Australia.

Front row from left to right
1. Obscured ?,
2. Senator Shane Paltridge, Australian Minister for Defence,
3. NASA Associate Adminstrator Edmond C. Buckley,
4. NASA representative ?
5. Sir David Brand, Premier of Western Australia.

Rear Row
1. ?
2. Lewis Wainright, Station Director, (in front of window)
3. ?
4. ?
5. Wilson Tuckey, Mayor, Shire of Gascoyne Minilya (far right)

Large, Larger.

Photo and IDs: John Lambie.


John Lambie’s invitation.


And the accompanying letter from the Minister for Supply, Allen Fairhall.

Partners in Space

Partners in Space. This folder contained souvenirs from the opening of Carnarvon on 25th June 1964.

(Courtesy Margaret Ruck.)

Carnarvon opening

This 3-page press-release from NASA Public Affairs announces the opening of the new Carnarvon station, the first built especially to support Project Gemini.

With thanks to Bill Barry at NASA HQ for the copy, and to Brian Larwood.