Muchea Press Clippings


Press clippings

kept by Jack Duperouzel

Advertisement for staff

Jack Duperouzel writes, “This was sent to me by my father in Perth from The West Australian sometime in the last half of 1960. I was at sea on HMAS Melbourne, but was able via mail to arrange an interview in Sydney as a Tech Officer for employment at Muchea.”

The advertisement is for staff for the two proposed Mercury Tracking Stations – at Muchea, Western Australia and Woomera (i.e. Red Lake), South Australia.

Applications closed 18th August 1960.

Muchea Tracking Station is Open for Business

opening day

Alan Hulme, the Australian Minister for Supply, wrote this article for the day Muchea was opened – Friday, March 24 1961. (From The West Australian.)

Click image for the full article. Thanks to John Lambie for researching the date. The photo is a Department of Supply photo.

Preparing for John Glenn’s orbital flight

Muchea set for US Space Man’s Flight

From The Sunday Times, January 28th, 1962 as John Glenn prepares to become the first American to orbit the Earth.

As it turned out, John Glenn’s MA-6 flight did not finally take place until February 20th. During this time, Muchea maintained a state a readiness to track the mission.

Jack Duperouzel writes,

“The date is correct on the Sunday Times, one of many false starts. The text confirms [John Glenn] had been in the capsule for five hours and at 9:15pm Perth was still waiting. The date of final launch was definitely 20 Feb. 1962.

Jack Moir was playing golf with the Editor of this paper, and during the game Jack told him about Muchea and John Glenn’s flight, and this man sourced this front page and mounted it on that board. [Jack] had that page mounted and he asked for two copies.”

(Sadly, the newspaper offices were destroyed in a fire and many records and photographs were lost – so the Muchea men are glad this historic page was preserved.)

Click for a 1.6MB version.


Friendship 7 visits Perth

Spacecraft’s entry causes confusion

John Glenn’s Friendship 7 spacecraft was taken on a world tour after his mission. Normally only visiting cities of more than a million, Glenn requested that Perth be included in the tour where around 25,000 people queued to see the spacecraft.

From The West Australian, 14 July 1962.

A personal interest

From The West Australian, 14 July 1962, the same day.

Muchea men Gerry O’Connor – Comm Tech (left) and Len Moyle – Telemetry inspect Friendship 7.

Gerry O’Connor has with him his three sons, Grant (2), Shane (5) and Mark (7).

Len Moyle is holding his son Kyle (4) as he points to the capsule.

Muchea staff and families were the first to inspect the Mercury Capsule in Perth.

Click image for the full article.

Scans by Colin Mackellar


kept by Glenis Austin (nee Wilkerson)

Muchea photos from Glenis Wilkerson

The launch of John Glenn’s flight was delayed several times, leading journalists to find new angles on their coverage from Muchea. Here’s a front page story on Glenis Wilkerson’s 21st birthday at the station.

Preserved by Glenis Austin (nee Wilkerson), scan by Jenni Whyatt.

Muchea photos from Glenis Wilkerson

The day after John Glenn’s flight, The Daily News ran this story featuring Glenis Wilkerson and Freda Ash.

Preserved by Glenis Austin (nee Wilkerson), scan by Jenni Whyatt.

Muchea photos from Glenis Wilkerson

Muchea’s Space Days are Over. Newspaper clipping preserved by Glenis Austin (nee Wilkerson), scan by Jenni Whyatt.



Ginger fuelled US space race

A personal interest

Jack Duperouzel scanned this obituary of Ginger Squires, 5th February 2009.

He writes, “We all remember her [from] when we called into her facility on the to road to the Muchea station in the mornings for a snack.”

Click the image for the full article.

Rights of the newspaper publishers are acknowledged.

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